Team V designs social and green student housing project in Utrecht

19 June 2017

Team V is the architect of a distinctively green and social student housing project in a residential area close to the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. ‘Op Dreef‘ includes 629 housing units and a wide range of collective and public facilities. The design was developed in collaboration with Urban Sync and fUSE Studio, IC Netherlands and Van Wijnen.

Striking building design
Two towers rise gradually out of the building block, creating a continuing series of green terraces. Parallel to the terraces, two cut-outs in the light brick facades escalate diagonally from the ground floor up, accentuating the stepped building shape. “The cut-outs literally bring air and activity into the façade and ensure the connection to the adjacent building,” explains Do Janne Vermeulen, Architect Director of Team V. Along these lively voids collective theme rooms are positioned, such as the library and a laundry bar. Large windows with French balconies, collective roof gardens on each floor and a pleasant courtyard provide students with a green, light and healthy living environment.

Healthy Urban Living
‘Op Dreef’ gives shape to the concept of Healthy Urban Living; creating a healthy and sustainable living environment in urban areas. “The succession of green outdoor terraces and the various sports facilities, such as a boot camp track and gym, encourages students to have a more healthy, active and social lifestyle,” clarifies Vermeulen. In addition, the striking building is equipped with the latest developments in sustainability, including energy-generating facades and roof tops, district heating combined with heat and cold storage, a flexible structure to anticipate future changes and an extensive support of the city’s flora and fauna, ranging from bird houses in the facade to little cavities for bumblebees.

For the neighborhood
In the pursuit of a healthy, social and sustainable residential neighborhood, interaction between residents and local businesses, students, knowledge centers and social organizations is of great importance. To achieve this, the ground floor of ‘Op Dreef’ has been set up as an inviting open space with appealing facilities, such as a training restaurant providing affordable and healthy food, an innovation lab in the field of Healthy Urban Living, a coffee bar with adjoining study area and a film room. Vermeulen: “With Op Dreef we create a distinctive icon that provides an identity for the Overvecht neighborhood. On top of that, the inviting and social character of the ground floor program will bridge the gap between the students and the current residents.”

Op Dreef includes 629 student apartments, of which 491 stand-alone apartments of approximately 22 square meter, 108 units with shared facilities (6 per group) and larger studios and apartments for disabled people of approximately 55 square meter. In addition, the building offers 1,400 square meter of collective facilities including a bicycle storage and 1,000 square meter of public facilities.

The realization of this student housing project is expected to start at the end of 2018.

Image: Zwartlicht / Team V Architecture

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