Infoversum opens in Groningen

19 Jun 2014

1,350 sq m complex for science, arts and business centres on 3D full dome theatre

The first full dome digital theatre in The Netherlands has opened to the public in Groningen. Initiated by Professor Edwin A. Valentijn (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute at the University of Groningen) and headed by design studio Architectengroep Archiview, the 1,350 sq m Infoversum provides an immersive experience for science, arts and business professionals, as well as the wider public.

At the core of the development is an immense dome theatre with 265 seats, supported by an entryway and foyer with associated exhibitions. Visitors enter the complex through a fissure in the Corten steel shell and access the ‘Infodome’ via a ramp. This metal ‘eye’ hosts a 20m-wide screen onto which 3D films are projected. This system is one of only twenty in the world and is the first full dome digital theatre in The Netherlands.

The main goal of the Infoversum is to educate the public on the topics of science, art and culture through the medium of immersive film and interactive media. Local schools will be invited to take part in educational programmes at the Inforversum and there are plans to use the dome for lectures and seminars for industry professionals.

Of the design process Archiview explains: “[Archiview, Centraalstaal Groningen, and Vuyk Engineering Groningen] had just completed a study on the integration of ship building methodology into the construction process. A switch in mentality with a large diversity in possibilities. The combination of shell and structure, through the form of strips of shapes, complex surface modelling, and the finish of the shell plating, offered new and infinite possibilities for the architecture. 3D stacking became 3D design. 

"Each commission is considered to be a unique question. In this case, it was possible to convert this question into a unique, yet flexible concept that included all contemporary characteristics and wishes.

The project was the result of a collaboration between the following companies and organisations: the University of Groningen; Target; Target Holding; the municipality of Groningen; GasTerra; Rabobank; Architectengroep Archiview; Aas Architecten; Ingenieursbureau Wassenaar; Central Industry Group; Vuyk Engineering Groningen; Centraalstaal Construction; Adviesbureau VanderWeele; Bouwkundig adviesburo van der Plas; Rottinghuis’Aannemingsbedrijf; and HOMIJ Technische Installaties.

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