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A floor map for the Groninger Museum

In the opinion of architect Alessandro Mendini, the Groninger Museum is a crystal-clear building. In practice, however, it seems that many visitors find the building confusing. Meijer Mijksenaar explains how a simple solution is about to improve circulation throughout the museum.

To give visitors a better insight into the museum’s complexly organized interior, Mijksenaar took a schematic approach that begins at the entrance, where he introduced a ‘floor map’ to facilitate orientation. His plan is comparable to that of a metro system, with a map that clearly shows a number of pedestrian routes that lead to various destinations.

Designer Meijer Mijksenaar elucidates: ‘What makes this building unusual is that the only place that allows direct access to all galleries and exhibitions is here, at the entrance level, and the museum is partially sunken, making orientation even more difficult. When you’re underground, you can’t look outside at a fixed point for orientation as you move from one area to another. It’s not easy to get an idea of how large the building really is.’ A floor map (see image) can solve the problem.

Mijksenaar: ‘A complicated interior is a complicated interior, and there’s nothing we can do about that. But the purpose of our new scheme is to give visitors – at least those who take the time to examine it – a basic understanding of the building’s organization, which they can use throughout the tour, no matter where they are in the museum.’

The Groninger Museum’s new wayfinding system will be fully implemented before the end of the year.

Read the complete Meijer and Paul Mijksenaar interview in Groninger Museum Magazine (PDF, in Dutch only).

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