Forum Groningen opened its doors on Friday with a bang. It was calculated that at least 37,000 people visited, which far exceeded expectations.
The Forum opened on Friday afternoon at 5 pm with its 24-hour party, with a number of activities on offer to show off the 10-floor centre for art, literature, and culture. In the first 24 hours around 21,000 visitors came to the Forum and on Sunday it was still very busy, with long queues of people waiting to explore the new cultural palace. Activities ranged from meeting Dutch writers and taking masterclasses in poetry to being hoisted in an exoskeleton. The majority of the building was accessible and free films were shown.
The Forum includes the library, five film rooms (for art-house movies), the Storyworld museum, exhibition rooms, a smart lab, the new Groningen Store and a number of study and work places. On the 10th floor is the new restaurant Nok, above which sits the beautiful rooftop terrace with an impressive view of the city’s skyline.
The first plans for the Forum were developed in 2000. The Stadjers were able to choose the design for the building themselves, yet the construction was still disputed. The Forum has been given a place in the historic city center of Groningen: unfortunately, not everyone finds the exterior quite as beautiful as its surroundings, or appropriate to the environment. Previously, there was a vacant parking garage and empty retail premises on the site of the building.
Almost all 37,000 people who have taken a look inside are enthusiastic about the content of the building and the spectacular collection of 14 escalators. It seems the Stadjers have a new ”living room” and the City has become even richer in tourist attractions.
Reactions from national media are also very enthusiastic. De Telegraaf praises the building, ”Groningen has an icon of international allure”. De Volkskrant admires the positive feelings the Forum provokes, “Trust in the visitor, in the city and in the future, that is the feeling that the Forum propagates. It is a contagious optimism.”
Forum Groningen is open 365 days a year from 09:00 til late. A large part of the building is accessible free of charge.