Application Development Centre for 3M

3M opens a new building on their site in Zwijndrecht, serving as an Application Development Centre for customers and end users of their products. Sweco Belgium and Arteum Architects are responsible for the complete design.


Customer: 3M

Location: Zwijndrecht, port

Period: 2015 – 2017

Disciplines: landscape architecture, infrastructure, architecture, stability, techniques, site monitoring

Specialized basic materials are produced and research and development take place in the laboratories on this 3M site, located in the port in Zwijndrecht. Adjacent to the existing production facilities and laboratories, new buildings are being provided in an undeveloped green zone. Customer focused developments on existing products will be taking place in the new building, in addition also to demonstrations and workshops being given.

Anyone who walks from the car park to the building immediately notices that the Application Development Centre shows off as a landmark on the site. From this footpath, the 14m high façade is best shown to its full advantage and the scale of the building then becomes tangible. By traversing the entrance area across the complete height of two floors, the vertical dimension of the building is additionally emphasized. The desk is positioned in front of a 7.5m high concrete wall along which the staircase runs. As soon as you reach the landing on the second part of the staircase, a panorama over the site suddenly emerges, thanks to the large expanses of glass on the façade.

Glass walls between the central entrance area and the demonstration rooms provide additional light and offer visitors a glimpse of the various modules, whereby the experience element is magnified. In addition, the cafeteria is equipped with a spacious terrace that overlooks the surrounding grassland and guarantees a green view - a real breath of fresh air in the middle of the industrial zone. Furthermore, the building is equipped with a spacious entrance hall, sanitary facilities, changing rooms and a partial green roof.

Green breath of fresh air
Additional parking is being constructed, as well as footpaths between the existing site and the new facilities. The undeveloped zone around the new building is only being converted where necessary, so that the present vegetation may be kept to a maximum. The existing tree groups are also preserved and supplemented with additional trees and shrubs. The zone is being laid out as a lawned surface. A reed planted wadi acts as a water buffering system and potential breeding place for birds.