Whilst the appearance of the Groninger Forum is outstanding, it is not the most ground-breaking aspect of the institute. It holds a combination of functions that is reshaping the foundation the public library.
It is intended as a physical platform for the sharing of media and information of all kinds. It has been dubbed with the potential of being a physical Wikipedia. This comparison is made from two main similarities; one, public participation is vital to its existence, and two, links to related data will be made available to visitors.
To create this rich exchange of knowledge and culture, the Public Library Groningen, the Groninger Museum, Filmtheater Images and Regional Historic Center Groninger Archives/Groninger Audiovisual Archive, have all collaborated. Thus, the contents of this construction include memorabilia from museums, cinema and libraries.
Whilst such cultural facilities would not normally be expected to be housed in the same space, the vibrant array of artefacts share mutual homes, encouraging debate and discussion.
Strict OCD-level organisation and order will no longer be necessary as each item will hold an RFID chip that tells you its location.
The design of the structure itself very much reflects the overall intentions of the project. Just as the function of the institute is to integrate multiple different fields into one coherent library, the silhouette of the building takes very different shapes depending on the position of the spectator. From a certain angle one sees a shape of slender elegance, from another it appears large and broad.
The Forum aims to be just that; a forum. Therefore it will try to remain as public as possible. Although there will be distinction between public and ticketed areas, these areas will alternate, ensuring that every corner of the building will be open to public. The design will also accommodate for the specific function of a space. For instance communicative areas will be open and transparent, whilst other areas may require conservation and concentration.
The heart of the Forum is the Atrium, where all of the connections between different programs are made. Each floor will allow spectacular views over the roofscape of Groningen.
The design of this space is geared towards “finding rather than searching”, and thus stimulates a desire to explore in the user. The vertically stacked space will encourage users to browse freely.
The Groninger Forum is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2017.
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