The city includes apartments, working-class houses, newly-built houses, offices, historic mansions, warehouses, hospices, courts and modern schools and museums; from the old Gold Office to the brand-new Tasman residential tower block, Groningen stands for architecture.
A visit to the architectural city of Groningen starts at one of the most beautiful stations in Europe: the main railway station. The building with its papier-mâché ceiling was designed by Isaac Gosschalk, completed in 1896 and, after numerous alterations, entirely brought back to its original state in 1999.
Gold office and warehouses
The Goudkantoor (Gold Office) in Groningen city centre is located behind the 200-year-old city hall and in the centre of the Waagcomplex designed by Italian architect Adolfo Natalini and constructed in 1999. Today the Gold Office, a Renaissance building from 1635, is a restaurant. Groningen is a Hanseatic city which becomes evident from the many historic warehouses, such as at the Noorderhaven
The urinal by Rem Koolhaas (with photos by Erwin Olaf) at the Kleine der A, the entrance to the University Museum, the Academie van Bouwkunst (Academy of Architecture), the Wallhouse at the Hoornse Meer that accommodates an artist, writer or architect twice a year, and much more; Groningen is full of design.
The much talked-of Groningen Museum designed by Allessandro Mendini houses art and is a work of art in itself.
The Gasuniegebouw is a wonderful example of organic architecture. Architects Ton Alberts and Max van Huut believe that human beings have three protective layers: skin, clothing and buildings. According to the designers, buildings must be as comfortable as a skin and users must feel the harmony with their immediate surroundings.
The Groningen Public Library in the city centre is located in a building designed in 1992 by Italian architect Georgio Grassi. The modern building is next to the oldest house of the city of Groningen, the Calmershuis, a stone house that was built around 1250.