Forum Groningen is a cultural center in the city of Groningen in the northern Netherlands that houses a library, cinema, and parts of the Groninger Museum. Forum Groningen opened in November 2019, and is expected to receive 1.6 million visitors annually.
The center is located next to the Great Market Square and the New Market and is part of larger reconstruction plans of the Great Market Square's eastern side.
Monday to Thursday: 9AM to 9PM
Friday/ Saturday: 9AM to Midnight
Sunday: 10AM to 23PM
The Rooftop closes at 6PM daily
There is a big bike parking here with space for 1200 bikes and there is a carparking big enough for 390 cars.
History of the building and its surroundings
The eastern side of Groningen's Great Market Square was destroyed in World War II. It has subsequently been rebuilt, but its facade has since lost appeal. Municipal authorities initiated plans for its redevelopment in 2005, but met heavy opposition from the city council. A plebiscite was held on 29 June, inviting inhabitants to weigh in. Although 53% of the votes were favorable, results were voided due to a turnout of only 38.5%.
Architects were invited to enter an architectural design competition, allowing the city's inhabitants to put together a top three out of a total of seven designs, from which the Forum's winning design was chosen by a municipal council.
Construction Costs, the sky is the limit
Construction costs were projected to be around €71 million, of which €35 million was paid by the provincial government. Provincial authorities attempted to back out of the project in 2010; threats of legal action led by Jan Terlouw secured its renewed support. Work to demolish the site's original development—a shopping center and a student association building—began in September 2011.The building was slated for completion in 2017, allowing for six years' of construction. However, decades' worth of large-scale drilling in the Groningen gas field has led to an increase in induced earthquakes in the province, whose event count shows an exponential growth in time, and caused a budget overrun and construction to run overdue for two years, as new plans had to be drafted to ensure the building's earthquake-resistance. Final costs were 140 million.
The building had its official opening on 29 November 2019.
Experience the architecture at the heart of Groningen's center with the emergence of the Forum—a dynamic hub designed for those intrigued by the happenings of today and the possibilities of tomorrow. The Forum offers a diverse array of attractions, including Storyworld, 5 cinemahalls, the Smartlab, cafés and restaurants, the city library, and Groningen's highest terrace, boasting a breathtaking view and a rooftop cinema.
What to do in Groninger Forum?
A beacon of curiosity, the Forum stands tall at 45 meters with ten floors and a rooftop garden, shaping the city skyline. Its sleek design includes escalators weaving connections between the eastern and western sides. Over the last decade, the building has sparked conversations among Groningen residents, who unanimously find its exterior intriguing and inviting exploration into its interior.
Study and relax
As not only a public space for students to study, inhabitants of the city of Groningen enjoy the cinema, cultural activities, a stunning library, the art and cultural expositions and the restaurant and bars in the building.
Tourists tend to visit it because of the stunning views over the city of Groningen. You can reach the rooftop daily with the elevator.
Read and play
The (kids) library is also a (digital and fysical) playground for kids until the age of 12.
Discover a wealth of experiences within the Forum, ranging from talk shows, lectures, debates, films, documentaries, courses, workshops, festivals, parties, and exhibitions to various cafés and a restaurant. Additionally, the venue provides study and workspaces, conference rooms, interactive installations, and houses the city library collection.
As a hidden gem, don't miss the opportunity to explore the car park and marvel at the impressive 'Wervel' artwork—a 20-meter long LED sculpture, adding an extra layer of fascination to your visit.