Forum Groningen

Groningen / Netherlands / 2019

25
25 Love 2,361 Visits Published

Forum Groningen is a new multifunctional building in the center of Groningen, a cultural ‘department store’ filled with books and images, that offers exhibition spaces, movie halls, assembly rooms, restaurants. The Forum aspires to become a platform for interaction and debate, a ‘living room’ for the city.


Forum Groningen is NOT a library, NOT a museum, NOT a cinema, but a new type of public space where the traditional borders between these institutes will dissolve. Information will be presented thematically in a way that transcends the different media.


The building is designed as single clear volume to express the desire for synergy, to strengthen the shared ambition to combine different facilities into one new compound. A series of precise cuts nails the building on its site and generates a multitude of different appearances.


Forum Groningen features an exceptional central space, an innovative atrium that with its horizontal ‘tentacles’ forms the pumping heart of the venue. The void works as a spatial interface that binds all functions, movie theatre, book collection, expo, auditorium, and as such hopes to catalyze the exchange of knowledge and ideas.


A series of stacked ‘squares’ emerges that can be experienced as the continuation of the network of open spaces in the city of Groningen. The vertical squares are publicly accessible and provide entry to the ticketable activities. The specific layout offers continuously changing perspectives on the surrounding city and culminates in the roof terrace, a viewing platform and outdoor theater.


Forum Groningen has been engineered “to accommodate finding not searching”. The design stimulates exploration. It hopes to catalyze the desire to wander, to ‘browse’ endlessly through its staggering interior landscape.


Forum Groningen aspires to blend in with the distinguished neighbors in the direct surroundings; in a way to become a new ‘family member’ of the Church Tower and the City hall. However these buildings are clad in Bentheimer sandstone and the use of this traditional material is no longer allowed due to the hazardous emissions during processing. The Wachenzeller Dolomite proofed to be a wonderful alternative.

Forum Groningen is compact and as such easy to insulate. Both the opaque and transparent parts of the facade have a very high insulation value. Immense glass surfaces enclose both the north and south sides of the Atrium. In terms of sustainability and energy use this at first this might appear counter-intuitive. But due to the triple glazing that is sun-resistant the temperature is constant and comfortable. The optimized glass keeps out 70 percent of the heat (while actually staying transparent: ) The remaining 30 percent is extracted at the top of the Atrium and stored in the ground to warm up the building in winter. So Forum actually "harvests" energy and as such is independent from fossil fuels.

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    Forum Groningen is a new multifunctional building in the center of Groningen, a cultural ‘department store’ filled with books and images, that offers exhibition spaces, movie halls, assembly rooms, restaurants. The Forum aspires to become a platform for interaction and debate, a ‘living room’ for the city. Forum Groningen is NOT a library, NOT a museum, NOT a cinema, but a new type of public space where the traditional borders between these institutes will dissolve....

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Work finished in 2019
    • Client Municipality of Groningen
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres
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    Lovers 25 users