The University of Gronigen in the Netherlands has a spacey new pop-up cinema on campus that consists of a white sphere encircled by a swirl of Corten steel. Designed by Archiview, the Infoversum cinema is modeled after a planetarium that gives viewers a three dimensional view of films that wrap around the sphere’s interior. The Infoversum lures visitors with its UFO shape, making science more accessible to the general public.
The concept for the Infoversum was dreamed up by the Univerity’s Edwin Valentijn, who approached Archiview to expand on the pop-up theater idea. Valentijn wanted a space where viewers could experience multiple views of the universe with 3D projections, much like an IMAX theater. The spherical globe shape was chosen as the perfect screen to create the projection experience he wanted.
Surrounding the theater sphere is Archiview’s swirl of steel and glass, creating a walkway and barrier with the white globe nestled in the middle. The band of steel is made up of 83 steel panels clad in their signature oxidized rust hue, a gleaming contrast to the white dome of the theater. The steel encasing swirls in irregular curves, rising higher on one side to reveal a UFO-like hatch for the visitor entrance.
Inside, the lobby continues the space-age design with curvilinear counter tops and perforated designs in the wall to let in light. The first floor includes the lobby, called Infowave, a digital exhibition center, and the movie theater, while the second floor houses a flexible meeting and event space. A terrace extends around the roof, giving visitors a chance to see night time projections. The university has embraced the temporary theater, and plans to move it to a more permanent location in the future.