FLASHForward is a pioneering beam-driven plasma-wakefield experiment that aims to produce, in a few centimeters of ionized hydrogen, electron beams of energies exceeding 1.5 GeV, which are of sufficient quality to demonstrate gain in a free-electron laser. The experimental beamline will allow for milestone studies assessing several types of plasma-internal particle injection regimes, external injection, and controlled beam capturing and release for subsequent applications. The facility provides a unique combination of low-emittance GeV-class electrons from a superconducting MHz repetition rate accelerator synchronized to a 25 TW laser interacting in a windowless, optically accessible, versatile plasma target. Experiments will commence in 2017, opening up new avenues in the highly dynamic research field of plasma wakefield acceleration.