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Swedbank Selects 3XN for it Spiffy New Headquarters

In architectural news on of our favourite European architecture firms 3XN has been selected to design the new international Headquarters for Swedbank. In keeping with 3XN’s talents as a designer of modern and innovative office buildings, 3XN has based their design for the structure around Swedbank’s core values; openness, simplicity, care and durability.

“The building is conceived and designed from the inside out. We have literally translated Swedbank’s core values into the creation of a modern and groundbreaking head office. Swedbank has conveyed the importance it places on creating an open social environment, which happens to coincide with 3XNs design beliefs and ideology. It has been a very interesting process and we look forward to getting to work on the project”. 3XN Principal Kim Herforth Nielsen

The design further develops these core values with a structure that focuses on transparency, Scandinavian simplicity and dynamic social environments.

The site selected for the new head office is in Sundbyberg; a fast developing traffic centre approximately five kilometres outside downtown Stockholm. The company plans to move approximately 2.500 employees will move into the building before the end of 2013.

3XN explains “With its innovative and transparent expression formed in an unconventional triple-v structure the building will become a landmark among Swedish office buildings. The large volume is broken up to create spaces on a human scale. This makes the building inviting on the inside as well as on the outside.”

For more information on the project visit 3XN’s online portfolio.

3XN’s Landmark for Vällingby Parkstad

Our friends over at the always innovative 3XN firm have won the commission for a new mixed use building at the entrance to Vällingby Parkstad in Stockholm Sweden. The concave side of the tower is reminiscent of the Aqua Tower in Chicago with its undulating balconies but the rest of the building strikes out its own form.

The building’s curved design embraces the area, while the lively shaped balconies open the structure up towards the surroundings, seemingly drawing the park upwards into the air. The dense structure at the ground level adds activity at eye level, with further visual stimulation continuing upwards as seen in the active roof tops and flowering balconies.

The area’s traditional ABC-structures are functional and angular – a clear demarcation from the green park next to it. In contrast to this, the new building softly rises from the ground in a human movement. The North facing façade is smooth and plain, the South and West facing sides are curved in an embracing gesture. The design is also functional as its shape minimizes shadow effects on the surrounding areas.

The wave-like variation between floors comes from a repetition of four different shapes in the building.  This diversity adds dynamism and liveliness to the building, one which is further complemented by the individual touches that the tenants will bring through their furnishing and flower boxes of the balconies.


Address: Vällingby Parkstad, Stockholm, Sweden

Client: Svea Fastigheter

Size: 13,000 m2 (14 floors)

1. prize in invited competition 2010

Construction is planned to begin 2011.



Address: Vällingby Parkstad, Stockholm, Sweden

Client: Svea Fastigheter

Size: 13,000 m2 (14 floors)

1. prize in invited competition 2010

Construction is planned to begin 2011.

Sustainable Street Lamps by 3XN

Photo by Adam Mørk, Scotia

Scotia and Photographer Adam Mørk.

Street lights are an important part of any urban environment, they allow us to travel from place to place in the city after dark without worrying for our safety and allow cities to operate after the sun goes down. The earliest street lamps are credited to the Saracens, which was a term used by romans for people living in the roman province of Syria. Garrison Fielding in his History of Medicine credits them with the invention of street lamps along with other civilizing advances;

“The Saracens themselves were the originators not only of algebra, chemistry, and geology, but of many of the so-called improvements or refinements of civilization, such as street lamps, window-panes, firework, stringed instruments, cultivated fruits, perfumes, spices, etc…”

The street light has taken on many incarnations, from the early gas lights which required a lamp lighter to tour the town and start them every dusk, gas lighting, the early ‘electric candle’ and then the modern incandescent lamps. The most common being the classic Sodium Vapor.

In the ongoing evolution of the street light 3XN has designed a new street light using an innovative LED luminaire, which with the help of a specially developed prism, uses solar energy for efficient street lighting. The firm has installed seven lamps at the Bella Center in Copenhagen for display at the upcoming UN Climate Conference.

Scotia and Photographer Adam Mørk.

Scotia and Photographer Adam Mørk.

The advanced technology results in the street lamps generating more energy than they use.  Therefore the lamp is an emblem of the Climate Conference ambitions of lowering global CO2 emissions.

Capturing Nordic Light

The streetlamps are a result of the close co-operation between 3XN and the lighting firm, Scotia.  The goal was to create a sculptural and CO2 neutral street lighting solution.  This was achieved with the combination of 3XNs GOTHAM luminaire and Scotias solar cell lamp post.  The lamp post is square and integrates upright standing solar cells which are strategically positioned to capture the Nordic light.

The sculptural lamp head is specially designed for the Scotia lamp post:

– The background behind our design for the lamp stems from ideas of Japanese origami and the natural shapes that emerge from geometry.  The luminaire contains folds which in addition to being very aesthetic, are very functional – even designed with respect to the wind.  The luminaire works in conjunction with the mast to form a very sculptural expression – with a veiled reference to the lamp’s futuristic LED technology, says Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal at 3XN.

GOTHAM is found in several variations, although 3XN is working on a number of other lamp designs that can be combined with the solar cell lamp post.  The GOTHAM project has emerged out of 3XNs internal research and development department GXN and combines the newest technology with a very futuristic expression.  The development of the LED lamp lies as part of 3XNs natural ambition to be cutting edge in green and innovative design – without compromising aesthetics.

The seven street lamps are located in Parking Lot 5 at Bella Center’s main entrance and naturally will continue their role after the Climate Conference.



'Learning From Nature' a pavilion by 3XN


The Danish architectural firm 3XN is designing a pavillion for the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art with the intent to show cutting edge possibilities at the meeting point between sustainable and intelligent materials. The resulting pavilion is built of bio composites and has integrated intelligence that interacts with its users and surroundings.

Sustainability does not equal architectural compromise

The pavilion is called ‘Learning from Nature’ and everything about the pavilion is literally inspired by nature itself: The biological cycle of nature is the fundamental basis for the shape, the materials and the dynamic energy generation. The pavilion is shaped as a Moebius band to symbolize the biological cycle; and the properties of the construction are very like those of nature – for example, the pavilion has a coating of nanoparticles that helps clean the surfaces and clean the air. Additionally, the pavilion is built of biodegradable materials; and as for energy, the pavilion is 100 percent self-sufficient.


Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal of 3XN, comments on the project:

– The Pavilion has given us the opportunity to showcase the possibilities which exist in building with sustainable and intelligent materials. Our objective has been to show that Green Architecture can be dynamic and active.  We often think that we need to minimize use of resources at all costs. Instead of focusing on consuming the least amount of energy, we need to focus on producing and using energy and materials in a more intelligent way than is the case today.

The development of the pavilion is a natural continuation of 3XNs extensive focus on new technologies and materials; a focus that led to the establishment of a unique in-house Research & Development unit in 2007. Since then, 3XN has built an international reputation as one of the most visionary and ambitious architecture firms in the field.

’Learning from Nature’ can be seen at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, until October.

Saxo Bank and its new digs


How to make a glass office block the right way.

Visible from the lively cafes across the water, the new corporate headquarters for a Danish Investment Bank, Saxo Bank has been turning heads since its opening earlier this year.  This striking building, with its playful patterns of white and glass facades, reflects the colors of the surrounding sky and water.

In the months before it was completed, the new headquarters for Danish Investment Bank – Saxo Bank – began attracting stares and attention from passersby in Tuborg Harbour, north of Copenhagen Denmark.  Now it has attracted the attention of the renowned RIBA International Award, recognizing excellence conceived by its members from around the world.


With its shimmering façade of diagonal white aluminum and blue glass patterns, the building reflects the sea and sky just as it does Saxo Bank’s profile as a solid, dynamic and modern bank.  Inside, a transparent and inspiring environment enhances the sense of team spirit amongst employees.  The open plan layout of each floor surrounds a softly shaped, top-lit atrium; with a winding main staircase functioning as the building’s spine.  The openness allows for interaction, sharing of knowledge and an environment of learning amongst this highly driven and international team of professionals.

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal Architect of 3XN comments on the design saying, ‘The building is designed in such a way that it challenges the surroundings and yet contributes to a unified setting.  The interior has been designed in close collaboration with Saxo Bank to create an environment of learning; encouraging interaction and sharing of knowledge.  Commenting on the award, Kim Herforth Nielsen says, ‘The RIBA International Award isn’t just any prize.  There is a very thorough evaluation process from the committee’s side, and they have visited all of the projects.  It is very important for us to create architecture with meaning, and not just a signature piece.  I think this is why we have won.’