Coordinates: 53° 12′ 44″ N, 6° 33′ 56″ E
Groningen is the capital city of the province of Groningen in the Netherlands. With a population of around 188,000, it is by far the largest city in the north of the Netherlands. Groningen is a university city, inhabited on average by about 50,000 students. The most important and most famous museum is the Groninger Museum. With the construction of its current building, designed by Alessandro Mendini, the museum has been transformed into one of the most modern and innovative of its kind in the Netherlands.
The Groninger Museum was founded in 1874 and opened its own building twenty years later on the Praediniussingel, in 1894. The Menkemaborg, a historic mansion, was donated to the Groninger Museum by the heirs of its last inhabitants in 1921. The current building of the museum was opened in 1994. The museum exhibits modern and contemporary art of local, national, and international artists.
The architecture’s futuristic and colourful style echoes the Italian Post Modern designs of the Memphis Group. Mendini, a former member of the firm, who is noted for his furniture and industrial designs, was asked by museum director Frans Haks in 1990 to design the new museum.