Cultural department store. Forum Groningen by NL Architects

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Design Team
Pieter Bannenberg, Kamiel Klaasse, Walter van Dijk, Thijs van Bijsterveldt, Florent Le Corre, Sören Grünert, Iwan Hameleers, Sybren Hoek, Kirsten Hüsig, Mathieu Landelle, Zhongnan Lao, Barbara Luns, Gert Jan Machiels, Sarah Möller, Gerbrand van Oostveen, Giulia Pastore, Guus Peters, Jose Ramon Vives, Laura Riaño Lopez, Arne van Wees, Zofia Wojdyga, Gen Yamamoto with Christian Asbo, Nicolo Bertino, Jonathan Cottereau, Marten Dashorst, Rebecca Eng, Antoine van Erp, Tan Gaofei, Sylvie Hagens, Britta Harnacke, Jana Heidacker, Sergio Hernandez Benta, Johannes Hübner, Yuseke Iwata, Cho Junghwa, Linda Kronmüller, Jakub Kupikowski, Katarina Labathova, Ana Lagoa Pereira Gomes, Qian Lan, Justine Lemesre, Amadeo Linke, Fabian Lutter, Rune Madsen, Phil Mallysh, José Maria Matteo Torres, Victoria Meniakina, Shuichiro Mitomo, Solène Muscato, Lea Olsson, Pauline Rabjeau, Thomas Scherzer, Michael Schoner, Martijn Stoffels, Jasper Schuttert, Bartek Tromczynski, Carmen Valtierra, Elisa Ventura, Benedict Völkel, Vittoria Volpi, Murk Wymenga, Qili Yang, Yena Young, Alessandro Zanini.
Interior design
NL Architects with deMunnik-deJong-Steinhauser, &Prast&Hooft, Tank, Northern Light
Building engineer.- ABT. Structural engineer.- ABT. Building costs.- ABT. Building physics, acoustics and safety.- DGMR. Technical installations.- Huisman en van Muijen HVM. Acoustics.- Peutz. Seismic engineering.- ABT with BORG & BAM Advies & Engineering. Art in parking.- Nicky Assmann.
Municipality of Groningen. Delegated client.- TwynstraGudde.
Main contractor
Contractor.- BAM
170,00.0 m²

Architects NL

NL Architects was founded in 1997, in the “SuperDutch” era, by Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Kamiel Klaasse and Mark Linnemann, who had met and started collaborating at Delft University of Technology. Today NL Architects is headed by Bannenberg, van Dijk and Klaasse. 

The three words “Wow! What? Wow!” embody NL Architects’ corporate philosophy, a reference to architectural theorist Robert Somol. He splits architecture into two categories. One can be described as “Wow! What?”, the other as “What? Wow!” “The first functions via the visual effect, the second via its content. They don’t like architecture that misses its chance.

After having garnered international attention with their first project “WOS8” in 1998, NL Architects received the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) Award (Rotterdam) in 2004 for “BasketBar” at Utrecht University. The jury was impressed by the casual architecture and “inventiveness with which the architects had approached the very banal remit”. In 2005 NL Architects won the Emerging Architect award of the Mies van der Rohe Award for its unusual hybrid of coffee house and sports ground.

In 2007 NL won first prize in the competition to design the Groninger Forum by popular vote. In 2008 the quartet once again caused a stir and established its name with “Sound Shower” at the Venice Architecture Biennial.

Their works are difficult to describe in few words, be they wild, humorous, experimental or radical. The crucial factor is always what can arise beyond the required design parameters and what unexpected potential it offers. They themselves describe their architecture as a “remix of reality”. 

Their project deFlat Kleiburg is a finalist for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.



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