Bert Hermans
Oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm

This painting shows the central hall and majestic staircase of Nieuwegein's new town hall. Bert visited this building in April 2023. He was struck by the special spiral architecture and light.

Bert has depicted a triple spiral on the screen in the hall. The triple spiral was found in a circular burial mound near Newgrange in Ireland that Bert visited several years ago. It is Ireland's most famous prehistoric site. This image dates from ± 3000 BC. The Celts left many carved spirals, especially in France and Ireland, in cemeteries and rocks and as decoration.
In cultural history, the triple spiral refers to the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Thus he became the symbol of eternal life and the symbol of everything that comes in threefold, such as the three dimensions of time: past – present – ??future.
In the painting, past and present are also connected through the combination of the ancient Celtic symbol of the triple spiral and the spiral architecture of the building.

In March 2012, the new town hall was opened. In addition to the town hall, the building, designed by the Danish architectural firm 3XN, contains shops and a library.
The Danish architectural firm wanted to demonstrate the democratic character of the building. The building offers a view of the various functions, because the spaces are separated by glass. In this way, visitors could see what the local politicians and officials are doing.
In addition, thanks to the spiral staircase and fanning floors, the building would have nothing to hide. Those who climb the stairs have a view of all levels and corners. The public hall, shops and library are located on the ground floor. The four floors above are intended for offices, the council chamber and other administrative functions.