Blok 1 by GROUP A



Rotterdam architecture studio GROUP A have completed a tower block in Arnhem, the Netherlands, to be used for student housing.

The building, called Blok 1, contains nine floors of dormitories and a communal roof terrace.

The façade comprises a patchwork of brown panelling and windows, which aim to maximise the natural light in each dormitory.

Blok 1 is part of the redevelopment of the Presikhaaf area in Arnhem, with plans to demolish the post-war architecture currently found in the neighbourhood and replace it with more upmarket housing.

Photos are by Daria Scagliola and Stijn Brakkee.

Here are some more details from GROUP A:


Project information:

Student housing tower Blok 1 serves as a landmark and a visual beacon of change and renewal for the Presikhaaf area.

The buiding is part of a larger redevelopment scheme, which forsees in the partial demolition of post-war housing estates in the neighbourhood making way for new, more upmarket, housing developements.

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Additionally, student housing is included in the scheme, as the presence of students will lead to differentiation and rejuvenation of the neighbourhood. Thus, the tower provides Presikhaaf with a much needed social impulse.

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The ten story building is situated on an isolated site, surrounded by nature. Its solitary character is enhanced by the buildings all-round orientation and facade, which is punctuated by a large number of windows, making the building look bigger than it actually is.

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This particular fenestration makes sure no two dorms are the same. The facade will be covered in paneling with a slightly differing finish, creating a subtle pattern. The dark brown colour gives the building a natural feel, and makes it fit into the surrounding ecological area.

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The ground floor comprises support facilities for the students, technical areas and commercial units. Each of the nine upper floors is laid out with ten dorms. The top floor will be used as a communal roof terrace. Within the restricted budget, GROUP A has been able to create a number of high quality solutions, like the large windows on the corners and the roofterrace with its nice views.

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Project: Blok 1 Presikhaaf
Type: Student housing
Task description: Preliminary design, final design, technical design and specification,
supervision, aesthetic monitoring
Team GROUP A: Adam Visser, Folkert van Hagen, Maarten van Bremen, Birgitta Rottmann,
Mike von Tiesenhausen, Fatima El-bouyahyaoui, Jos Overmars, David
Moreno Romero, Paulo Moreno, Nolly Vos, Edwin Larkens, Daniël Gijsbers,
Niclas Frenning
Location: Arnhem
Country: the Netherlands
Start design: June 2005
Final acceptance: August 2009
Dimensions: 3.000 m2
Building costs: € 3.500.000,00
Client: Vivare Projecten BV

Posted on Tuesday September 29th 2009 at 1:00 pm by Sarah Housley. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Raziel

    On the whole I think the building is to tall and has way to harsh lines. If you look at the (beautifully enlargeble) plans and sections its just a standard tower. In fact its as standerd as you can imagine but with a slapped on exteriour of non-bricks.

  • so?

    and what’s wrong with standard buildings Raziel?

  • danny

    it’s great

  • bak

    looks like you’re living in a kitchen, with funky windows.
    I like the facade composition, but I’ve seen better and I don’t want to live in it.
    Not a big fan of the entrance either, it’s all a bit unpersonal, quite not student-alike.

  • yo

    I totally agree with bak,
    I like the facade composition too,whereas I would have loved to see balconies too and that s probably why I wouldn t live in there too.

  • michaq

    Am I blind, or there is only one elevator?

  • willem

    dear michaq, try to see this: who cares about dutch students, waiting for an elevator? group a worked 4 years with 10 students to get this blok 1 finally accepted. for an extremely poor 3,5m euro they realised about 70 nice units. the second elevator is saved for blok 2, made by group b.