With a stepped rooftop landscape and two 50-meter-tall vertical accents, The Cube student housing complex forms a landmark in Overvecht and a discernible feature in the Utrecht skyline. In redeveloping this area of the central city and creating a project brief, local government bodies prioritised ‘healthy urban living’. The resulting design reflects a firm focus on these principles.
The Cube consists of two interlocking, stepped, sixteen-floor towers. The series of rooftop gardens are connected by interlocking stairs, and form two continuous routes starting from the ground floor. These routes are marked with a timber-finished incision cut out of the brick façade. Along this stepped route, students can access collective social and sporting amenities. A shared courtyard with a sports field and fitness space is contained in the centre of the building.
The street-level amenities are designed to connect residents with the surrounding neighbourhood: a student lobby, a cafe with waterside terrace, flexible work spaces, and a meeting space for social and educational activities are included in the plans. Creating a fluid transition between the various functions and spaces in the plinth supports flexible use.
The Cube mostly consists of small independent units of about 21 square meters, plus a few five-person group units. Each unit has its own bathroom, kitchenette and French balcony. In addition, students can use a wide range of shared amenities, such as lounges and studies, laundries, bike storage and a rooftop garden on each floor. The building has a flexible layout, so should the housing market demand it, two units can be joined together to form a two-room apartment.