3XN Completes Organically-Shaped Exhibition Space in Belgium

3XN recently completed the Grognon exhibit space that focuses on the history and development of digital technologies. The project is located in Namur, Belgium at the confluence two rivers and neighboring the Roman citadel as well as Wallonian Parliament. It inserts itself into the protected historical setting to create a new topography. This landscape flows along the site, weaving together the context as well as new program.

© Phillipe Piraux

The structure’s form is drawn by a series of organic curves. This creates a dialogue between the surrounding environment and the past while respecting the history of the site. Landscape-like design allows for the historic park to continue on the top of the structure, while the roof slopes towards Meuse river, creating a terraced plaza filled with grass with wide steps. The new public square can host various activities such as street performances and urban events. It also creates a new social space in the city. Continue the terraced slope with a path along the river and a floating platform for musical performances.

© Phillipe Piraux

It was decided to combine the landscape and buildings into one composition. The public square and cultural building share a common architectural concept. It is simple, straightforward, and full of experiences and variations. Jan Ammundsen is Senior Partner at 3XN and Architect MAA. Together, the square and building create a unique historic location.

A series of galvanized steel slats create a pattern on the facade. As the building slopes down, the slats become wider and more opaque. The semi-circular structure has a foyer and multi-purpose hall. This flexibility is made possible by sliding doors and sparingly placed columns. This space is located between indoor and outdoor spaces. It opens towards the plaza. The spiral staircase leads to the open-kitchen restaurant that offers 180 degree views of the city.

© Phillipe Piraux
  • Location: Namur, Belgium
  • Size: 8.000m2
  • Collaborators: De Graeve and Nonet, BEE architects, De Graeve and Duchene and Nonet. Lateral Thinking Factory. JNC International. Arcadis. Radiance 35
  • Program: Caf and Exhibition