Blok1 / GROUP A

© Scagliola/Brakkee

Architect: GROUP A
Location: Arnhem,
Project Team: Adam Visser, Folkert van Hagen, Maarten van Bremen, Birgitta Rottmann, Edwin Larkens, Jos Overmars, Mike von Tiesenhausen, Fatima El-bouyahyaoui, David Moreno Romero, Paulo Moreno, Nolly Vos, Daniël Gijsbers, Niclas Frenning
Client: Vivare
Contractor: Klaasens Bouwtechniek
Structural Engineer: DHV
Installations: Deerns Raadgevende Ingenieurs
Plot area: 3,000 sqm
Year of commision: 2005
Year of completion: 2009
Photographs: Scagliola/Brakkee

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 foresees in the partial demolition of post-war housing estates in the neighbourhood, giving way to new, more upmarket, housing developments. 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.

situation plan

The ten storey building is situated on an isolated site, surrounded by green areas. Its solitary character is enhanced by the building’s all-round orientation and façades, which are punctuated by a large number of windows, making the building look bigger than it actually is. This particular fenestration makes that no two dorms have the same layout.

© Scagliola/Brakkee

The façade is covered by panels 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 green area.

© Scagliola/Brakkee

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, 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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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Blok1 / GROUP A" 02 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • arnold

    I like the simplicity of this project.

    I understand, that the budget didn’t allowed to accept more interestings, becouse they cost money, but that I can see in this building – there are so many good Ideas germs, who could develop in good and nice houses in the future.

    Only the one remark from me: if this building is for students (young people), it could be more lighter and cheerful in the exterior and interior too.. :-)

    Thank You. It’s realy good.


    It’s ok. Not more.

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  • Nicholas Patten

    Nicely Designed: Blok1.

  • sullka

    Pretty cool project, the facade patterns and windows does bumps up the scale.

    Just 2 concerns/doubts:

    1- Can someone from the netherlands chime in and explain why the small enclosed vestibule by the elevator?, seems to be triggered by some “absurd” code restriction, same for the vestibule outside the stairs, why 2 set of doors?

    2- I know it’s student housing, and I’m aware of budget constrains, but would it hurt that much to give just a few rows more of floor tiling in some of the bathrooms? Some of them are almost prison cell like, the shower area (if you can call it that) seems to be smaller than the sink itself.