Domain Student Housing Reinventing The Concept Of Dormitories

Domain Amsterdam Southeast, located on a knowledge axis in Amsterdam that includes educational institutions and student housing, creates a new pulse in the neighbourhood. The campus, strategically located next to an academic hospital and train station, introduces its first residential building into a predominantly office area, with a critical mass of approximately 1,500 apartments and amenities. This new campus is the spark that ignites the long-desired transformation of a monofunctional office district into a vibrant, multifunctional city district. The OurDomain campus’ urbanistic goal is to introduce fundamental change, create new connections, and facilitate social space that inspires its users.

The Nearby Surroundings And Exploring The Area’s Transformation

OurDomain Student Housing / OZ Architects,© Mark Kuipers

The surrounding larger transformation area (known as Amstel III) was deemed problematic by all stakeholders. The location, which is set up as an office area, has an unappealing appearance. One of the most important stakeholders in the area is a hospital. The issue of social safety is being addressed. Many of today’s office buildings are free-standing, resulting in islands. These islands were created by putting water and greenery in the centre of the buildings. Meanwhile, there were some encouraging ongoing developments, such as a number of start-up initiatives. The big question was how to bring this divided area together so that it became a whole. A connection was realised as a first step in the further development of the area’s transformation with the plan for the OurDomain campus.


A new tenant for an empty office building and parking garage near OurDomain’s location could not be found, and the neighbourhood was socially unsafe. For these reasons, it was decided that both buildings would be demolished. The area appeared to be cluttered with a lot of fencing, and the public space was not well maintained. It’s a little desolate and inaccessible. Students also reported feelings of insecurity and anonymity.

The Concept Of Establishing A Campus

OurDomain Student Housing / OZ Architects,© Marcel van der Burg

This location was chosen for a campus community because it is the first time that people can live in this part of Amsterdam. The concept of establishing a campus relates to a current housing issue in Amsterdam: a severe shortage of housing for students and young people. To allow for this residential function, the municipality of Amsterdam amended its zoning plan in 2011 to allow for residential units, at the request of market participants. In 2014, OZ investigated the possibility of introducing a large number of apartments with the help of consultant Fakton, developer Blauwhoed, real estate owner LSI, and investor Greystar. It was investigated whether a new campus for young adults near the hospital would meet the growing demand for youth housing.


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