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52 Degrees

Nijmegen, Netherlands
1 of 2Mecanoo

The 86 metre high-rise 52 Negrees in Nijmegen in the Netherlands is a joint development by Philips Semiconductors Nijmegen, the Municipality of Nijmegen

and ICE Development in partnership with Ballast Nedam. The building was designed by the Dutch practice Mecanoo which won the competition in 2002. The building was completed in 2010. The name of the complex refers to the site’s 52nd degree of latitude, which like the ambition of its initiators, spans the entire world.

The building is conceived as a business innovation centre originally initiated by Philips Semiconductors (now NXP) to expand its current production and research site in Nijmegen by creating a new knowledge centre for the development of semiconductors. The existing production site is sealed off and fenced in for security reasons, yet the new knowledge centre, encourages encounters and collaboration among diverse parties including the semiconductor industry, multimedia and communication technologies. It is a multifunctional complex of 70,000 m2 with offices, conference halls, a theatre (2400 seats), catering facilities, apartments, retail and sports facilities.

The structure stands on a slope. Under the grassed roof are parking spaces for six hundred cars, various commercial facilities and a covered Plaza with shops and restaurants. The lower eight floors of the seventeen storey tower are ten degrees out of plumb, creating an inviting gesture towards the city. The bent form is made possible by the hybrid construction of concrete and steel, and for each intermediate floor the facade shifts in relation to the concrete cores.

In order to shorten the construction time - one floor per week - it was decided to use prefabricated cladding in a pattern of pixels that gives the facade an abstract appearance. A broad staircase leads to the reception hall with its conspicuously curved wooden benches. The undulating wall clad with mahogany represents a visually connecting element that automatically indicates the route through the building. The office and laboratory floors can be flexibly subdivided. Climate ceilings allow for customized work station environments to accommodate the products being developed.

Adviesbureau Tielemans (execution)
Royal Haskoning
ARUP (competion)
Ballast Nedam Speciale Projecten