NEWS
NL Architects create "cultural department store" in Groningen
POSTED 21 Jan 2020 . BY Stu Robarts
The design for Forum Groningen was first developed for a competition in 2006 Credit: Deon Prins
Forum Groningen features an exceptional central space, an innovative atrium that with its horizontal ‘tentacles’ forms the pumping heart of the venue.
– NL Architects
NL Architects and ABT have created what they describe as a "new type of public space" in Groningen, Netherlands, filled with books, images, exhibition spaces, movie halls, assembly rooms and restaurants.

The design for Forum Groningen was first developed for a competition run by the local municipality in 2006, running out the winner.

It has now finally been brought to fruition, with a form that is at once monolithic, carefully crafted and contemporary.

A single volume covers 17,000sq m (183,000sq ft), with different angles cut away to create a sculptural shape and a variety of different appearances.

Inside, the building is based around a large central atrium that links different spaces and it features a series of stacked squares that can be seen as a continuation of the city's public spaces. It is topped with a roof terrace, a viewing platform and outdoor theatre.

"Forum Groningen features an exceptional central space, an innovative atrium that with its horizontal ‘tentacles’ forms the pumping heart of the venue," explained NL Architects. "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."

The facility is designed to variously become "a platform for interaction and debate", be "a living room for the city" and facilitate "finding not searching” of cultural creations.

NL insist that the Forum is not a library, a museum or a cinema – and its description goes beyond that of an art or cultural centre alone.

It has been designed to dissolve the borders between those institutions and to present content "thematically in a way that transcends the different media."
There is also 10,000sq m (108,000sq ft) for car parking Credit: Marcel van der Burg
The roof terrace provides panoramic views out of over the city Credit: Marcel van der Burg
The building is topped with a roof terrace, a viewing platform and outdoor theatre Credit: Marcel van der Burg
Auditoriums provide locations for film screenings Credit: Marcel van der Burg
There are gallery spaces for exhibitions Credit: Marcel van der Burg
Quieter nooks around the building can be used for reading or meetings Credit: Marcel van der Burg
there are varied architectural and design elements throughout the building Credit: Marcel van der Burg
Different spaces offer different levels of formality and fun Credit: Marcel van der Burg
The facility is designed to facilitate "finding not searching” of different cultural offerings Credit: Marcel van der Burg
Large windows allow ample natural light into many of the spaces Credit: Marcel van der Burg
Other spaces in the building can be used for working and workshops Credit: Marcel van der Burg
There are spaces for reading and studying Credit: Marcel van der Burg
The building houses many different types of spaces and facilities Credit: Marcel van der Burg
The interior spaces are interlinked in such a way as to encourage the mixing of ideas Credit: Marcel van der Burg
A series of stacked squares can be seen as a continuation of the city's public spaces Credit: Marcel van der Burg
Inside, the building is based around a large central atrium Credit: Marcel van der Burg
A single volume covers 17,000sq m (183,000sq ft) Credit: Deon Prins
The competition was run by the Municipality of Groningen Credit: Deon Prins
 


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21 Jan 2020

NL Architects create "cultural department store" in Groningen
BY Stu Robarts

The design for Forum Groningen was first developed for a competition in 2006

The design for Forum Groningen was first developed for a competition in 2006
photo: Deon Prins

NL Architects and ABT have created what they describe as a "new type of public space" in Groningen, Netherlands, filled with books, images, exhibition spaces, movie halls, assembly rooms and restaurants.

The design for Forum Groningen was first developed for a competition run by the local municipality in 2006, running out the winner.

It has now finally been brought to fruition, with a form that is at once monolithic, carefully crafted and contemporary.

A single volume covers 17,000sq m (183,000sq ft), with different angles cut away to create a sculptural shape and a variety of different appearances.

Inside, the building is based around a large central atrium that links different spaces and it features a series of stacked squares that can be seen as a continuation of the city's public spaces. It is topped with a roof terrace, a viewing platform and outdoor theatre.

"Forum Groningen features an exceptional central space, an innovative atrium that with its horizontal ‘tentacles’ forms the pumping heart of the venue," explained NL Architects. "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."

The facility is designed to variously become "a platform for interaction and debate", be "a living room for the city" and facilitate "finding not searching” of cultural creations.

NL insist that the Forum is not a library, a museum or a cinema – and its description goes beyond that of an art or cultural centre alone.

It has been designed to dissolve the borders between those institutions and to present content "thematically in a way that transcends the different media."



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