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Projects

At home in the City Hall

Stadshuis Nieuwegein

How do you transform a city hall into a welcoming home, where the lively character is already tangible upon entering? In the Dutch city of Nieuwegein, we achieve this by literally and figuratively building bridges. By merging a colorful mix of public functions into an accessible and warm interior, everyone can feel at home.

Client
Gemeente Nieuwegein

Location
Nieuwegein, NL

Partners
MARS Interieurarchitecten

Size
27.000 m2

Status
In Progress

why

From no man’s island to everyone’s living room


Within the expansive, neutral architecture of the Nieuwegein City Hall from 2012, a design by 3XN Architects, visitors can find a variety of public services in addition to municipal affairs. From the library to work and income services. In the old situation, the organizations sat on their own “islands” within an environment that visitors perceived as formal and distant.

Whatever the agenda for a visit to City Hall, everyone should feel welcome and at ease. Therefore, a new, inviting interior design was needed from the first floor to the second floor. Centered on informality, small scale and connection between the different service providers. In short, it was time to give the social function of Stadshuis Nieuwegein a fresh impulse.

"The Stadshuis is becoming a vibrant place by, for, and of the people of Nieuwegein, where everyone should feel welcome. We can't wait for it to be completely ready by the end of this year!"

John van Engelen
Alderman, Municipality of Nieuwegein

"In the new Stadshuis of Nieuwegein you can experience time well-spent and gain new experiences, thanks to the high experience factor for all ages."

Thijs Alberts
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how

The second floor sprawls into a 'third place'

To carefully identify the needs and wishes of the stakeholders and users involved, we organized several workshops and joined focus groups. This was followed by several Design Workshop weeks. Collaboration was paramount in our approach. The result? An innovative new plan in which the library is no longer limited to the second floor, but is spread across multiple levels. In doing so, the other public functions are organically interwoven into the interior design. Special attention was paid to the younger residents of Nieuwegein, which led to the creation of an experience-rich youth zone.

Shelves with a story

Multiple Housing

Stadshuis Nieuwegein houses the library Bibliotheek Nieuwegein, Werk en Inkomen Lekstroom (WIL), the VrijwilligersHuis (Volunteer House), KunstGein, Movactor (social work), health organization GGDrU and Gemeente Nieuwegein.

what

Explore a world of possibilities

Three themes play the main role in our design: the Noorderlicht bookcase, the Bazaar and the Park. The Noorderlicht bookcase includes free-standing bookcases that extend from the first floor to the second floor. The Bazaar has the atmosphere of a lively market abroad. Here you can “shop” at various public functions within the Stadshuis. The imaginative Park, which even has a tree with genuine branches, is focused on the youngest visitors.

New walkways and an additional staircase have created a democratic floor plan. This has been designed so that everyone can use it comfortably, whether you are young or old, able-bodied or not. A visit to Stadshuis Nieuwegein thus becomes a voyage of discovery through various interior worlds, with the Noorderlicht cabinet acting as a guide that inspires you to reach for new experiences.

Stadshuis Nieuwegein

More Impressions

  • A beginning with no end, the Young Child Square for children aged 0 - 12 years uses a shape language with circles. These circles attract attention both inside and outside.

  • In addition to the bookcases, seats and alcoves divide the space and create a cozy atmosphere.

  • Playful props in the Noorderlicht bookcases refer to the different types of collections, and the city's past and present. They were collected together with residents.

  • The large wooden Noorderlicht bookcase connects the three floors.

"The new design offers a Route of Dignity and a Route of Discovery, so that you can both intuitively find your way as well as be invited to take the 'long way home'."

Aat Vos
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