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Muziekgebouw amsterdam.jpg
Practice information
Key architects Kim Herforth Nielsen
Bo Boje Larsen
Jan Ammundsen
Founded 1986
Location Copenhagen
Significant works and honors
Buildings Muziekgebouw Concert Hall
Museum of Liverpool
Awards 1988 Nykredit Architecture Prize
2005, 2007 and 2009 RIBA Awards

3XN is a Danish architectural practice with head office in Copenhagen.


The company was founded in Århus in 1986 as Nielsen, Nielsen & Nielsen (later 3 X Nielsen) by Kim Herforth Nielsen, Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen. The latter left the company, which is today led by a partner group of three with Kim Herforth Nielsen as the Principal Architect. The practice had its international breakthrough in the late 90s with the Danish Embassy in Berlin (completed in 1999) and the Muziekgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam (competition win in 1997). In 2005 3XN won the competition for the new Museum of Liverpool which opened in 2011.

Among 3XNs high profiled Danish projects are Ørestad Gymnasium (High school) (2007), the renovation of Tivoli’s Concert Hall (2005), Alsion, university, concert hall and research centre in Sønderborg (2007), the headquarters of Saxo Bank in Copenhagen (2008), the headquarters of the law firm Horten (2009), Middelfart Savings Bank (2010) and KPMG Headquarters (2011). Under construction are Bella Sky – the biggest hotel in Scandinavia, Lighthouse, a highrise in Århus, a new town hall in the Dutch city Nieuwegein and Denmark’s new Aquarium, The Blue Planet in Copenhagen. Recently 3XN has won the competition to design the new headquarters for Swedbank in Stockholm and another Swedish residential project in Vällingby. 3XN is also present in Norway with projects such as the Theatre and Jazz House in Molde and a Culture House in Mandal.

In 2007 3XN established the research and development department GXN working on implementing new (green) materials and technologies in the studio’s projects. The R&D department also develops new projects and designs of lamps for instance. GXN is also behind the green Louisiana Pavilion displayed at the Danish art museum Louisiana during COP15. The pavilion is built with a biocomposite especially developed for the purpose. GXN works with Cradle to Cradle Denmark at developing the first Danish building manual based on the Cradle to Cradle principles.

In 2010 3XN created the exhibition Mind Your Behaviour, which was shown at Danish Architecture Centre and at Aedes Gallery in Berlin.

The 3XN philosophy[edit]

Ørestad Gymnasium, Copenhagen, 2005

The architecture of 3XN is created in the nexus between science and art; iconic design and context.[citation needed] That combination results in an expression of humanity.[citation needed] Dialogue is extremely important and the stories told by the people and the place are always carefully listened to. Working with the motto; “Investigate, Ask, Tell, Draw, Build” 3XN’s buildings express spatial requirements quite simply, reflecting the spirit of the place, the constructive solution and the project’s overall idea in one comprehensive solution.[citation needed]

Behavior is another keyword in the 3XN philosophy. In 2007, 3XNs Ørestad College set new standards for educational buildings.[citation needed] The open design changed the traditional ideas of the layout and look of a school building. Based on the principles of knowledge sharing and interdisciplinarity of the Danish Gymnasium Reform of 2005 the traditional class rooms have been removed in favor of open flexible rooms thus allowing interaction and better learning and working environments for the students. This mindset; that architecture shapes behavior has become a guiding principle in all 3XN’s architectural solutions. Out of the synthesis of design, function and context new buildings take shape that are larger than the sum of their parts and that create an added value for the end users.[citation needed]

“For me, architecture is more about creating spaces and environments that accommodate the people working and living in them. All through the process it is important for us as well as the client to have an environment that is inspiring and designed with the human being in full focus. I believe that architecture creates behavior” Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Principal, 3XN

Selected projects[edit]


In progress[edit]



  • 2010 Denmark Updated, Essen, DE
  • 2010 12. Biennale Architettura, The Danish Pavilion, Venice, IT
  • 2010 Mind Your Behaviour, Aedes, Berlin, DE (solo)
  • 2010 Mind Your Behaviour, DAC, Copenhagen, DK (solo)
  • 2009-2010 It’s a Small World, Copenhagen, DK (tour: Shanghai EXPO 2010, CN, Curitiba, BR, Santiago, CL)
  • 2009 ShowHow, Copenhagen, DK (tour: London, UK)
  • 2009 Green Architecture for the Future, Louisiana, Humlebæk, DK
  • 2008 11. Biennale Architettura, The Danish Pavilion, Venice, IT
  • 2008 Architecture is a conversation that never ends, Paris, FR (solo)
  • 2008-10 Building Sustainable Communities, DAC, Copenhagen, DK (tour: UAE, SE, DE, PL, CN, RU, LV)
  • 2008 Sust-DANE-able, London, UK
  • 2007 Architecture and Design Today, ETH Universität Zurich, CH
  • 2006 Architecture made in Denmark, DAZ, Berlin, DE
  • 2005-06 Young Younger Youngest. Aarhus, DK (tour: Rome, IT, Stockholm, SE)
  • 2005 Culture led Regeneration, CUBE, Manchester, UK
  • 2005 Danish Architects in China, The Danish Cultural Institute, Beijing, CN
  • 2005 Danish Architects in the UK, the Royal Danish Embassy, London, UK
  • 2004 9. Biennale di Architettura, Arsenale, Venice, IT
  • 2003-04 Contemporary Danish Architecture, i+i, Delft, NL
  • 2002 Danish Architecture, Beijing, CN
  • 2002 Arne Jacobsen Inspirations, Louisiana, Humlebæk, DK
  • 2001 BLUE STAGE, House of World Cultures, Berlin, DE
  • 2000-01 The Danish Wave (tour:, CN, JP, TW, AR)
  • 2000 Panorama des Capitales Européennes, Pavillon d’Arsenal, Paris, FR
  • 2000 Botschaften und Landesvertretungen in Berlin, DAZ, Berlin, DE
  • 1999 4. Biennal Internacional de Arquitetura, São Paulo, BR
  • 1999 Denmark meets Australia II (tour: main cities, AU)
  • 1998-99 Copenhagen – Concepts of Continuity (tour: RU, PL, DE)
  • 1996 Scandinavian Architecture, Chicago Athenaeum, Chicago, US
  • 1996 5. Biennale Architettura, Arsenale, Venice, IT


  1. ^ "Denmark dares to be different". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  2. ^ "The sky is the limit". World Architecture News. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  3. ^ "Museum across the Mersey". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  4. ^ "Stadshuis Nieuwegein officieel geopend" (in Dutch). architechtenweb.nl. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Designing The Blue Planet". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  6. ^ "Going for (LEED) Gold...". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  7. ^ "Competition win for 3XN". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  8. ^ "3XN win Randers Museum of Art comp". World Architecture News. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  9. ^ "Along the cultural line". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  10. ^ "3XN Wins Landmark Project in Sweden". archdaily. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  11. ^ "3XN to Design Uppsala University Building". Bustler. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  12. ^ "Folded form is winning design". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  13. ^ "Copenhagen Arena expected by 2015". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  14. ^ "IMAX for DreamCenter lifestyle entertainment hub in Shanghai \ 3XN Architects". MOOD. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  15. ^ "3XN Designs Residential Complex for Downtown Vienna". ArchDaily. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  16. ^ "3xn to design the new International Olympic Committee HQ in Lausanne". ArchDaily. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  17. ^ "3XN to design Mälardalen University's new educational building and public bath in Sweden". Bustler. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  18. ^ "3XN designs Sydney high rise". AMP. 
  19. ^ "Nykredit Architecture Prize". Nykredit website (in Danish). Copenhagen, Denmark: Nykredit Holding A/S. 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "RIBA AWARDS / EU". Architects Journal. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  21. ^ "Music to your ears - 3XN wins the Dutch Building Award 2006". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  22. ^ "The Music Building in Amsterdam by 3XN Wins Dutch Building Award 2006". Dexigner. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  23. ^ "The Music Building in Amsterdam by 3XN Wins Dutch Building Award 2006". Dexigner. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  24. ^ "A design to bank on". World Architecture News. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  25. ^ "The Music Building in Amsterdam by 3XN Wins Dutch Building Award 2006". Dexigner. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  26. ^ "RIBA National and European Awards winners announced". RIBA. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  27. ^ "Winners 2009". RIBA. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  28. ^ "2011 RIBA European Awards". RIBA. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  29. ^ "Danish hospital wins a future projects award". World Architecture Festival. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  30. ^ "2013 RIBA National and EU Awards announced". RIBA. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 

External links[edit]