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Dutch Design Awards 2020
The new living room of the city

Forum Groningen

Forum Groningen
Marcel van der Burg
This project is part of Dutch Design Awards 2020

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.

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.

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 with varying atmospheres and views 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.