Vindicat Students’ Union

Groningen, NL

How to place a private association in the most public place in Groningen?



To enable the renovation of the east wall of the Grote Markt in Groningen, the student association Vindicat’s clubhouse had to be relocated. The association was assigned a prominent place on the corner, next to the Martinikerk.

The substantial, traditional and stylish building matches the character of Vindicat

The design is an accurate interpretation of the requirements and desires that Vindicat and the City of Groningen brought to the design. The association has been given a contemporary, Dutch house with an air of grandeur, with windows on the city and a balcony on the Grote Markt. The building has a brick façade that conceals, reveals where desired, and ornaments the city.

In the evening, the light glows behind the windows. Shadows move in the Conversatiezaal (‘conversation room’), while in the reading room, bookcases can be seen reaching up to the ceiling behind the high windows.

The interior of the private club building is spacious and appeals to the imagination: an architectural route connects the atmospheric communal areas.

Informal route

Member route

Service route

Interweaving programme and routes

Floors and stairs

Vindicat Students’ Union

Part of the redevelopment of the east side of the Grote Markt in Groningen – which also made the construction of the Groninger Forum possible – was the relocation of the student society, Vindicat atque Polit. Vindicat got a new building, in one of the most striking places in the city, next to the Martinitoren and opposite the town hall.

The new building is a contemporary Dutch house with an air of grandeur, windows on the city and a balcony on the Grote Markt. It gives shape to the group feeling, the rituals and the identity of the society. The front door gives access to the hall and the monumental staircase to the first floor. The staircase is the start of an architectural route that connects all the common areas. These spaces each have their own atmosphere.

Despite the special shape of the plot and the complex programme, the construction is efficient and economic. The angular displacement of the lot has been solved by designing two structural rectangles. The front section has great storey heights; the rear is lower. The space in between is the place for the connecting stairs and routing.


Vindicat Students’ Union
Groningen, NL
5.080 m²
Gemeente Groningen Dienst RO/EZ
Catering & Retail
Harry Cock
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