The Ex-Casa400 project is located in the Eenhoorn area in the east of Amsterdam, next to Amstel train station. An urban planning framework has been established for the redevelopment of this area into an attractive mixed residential and commercial area. Closed building blocks and green axes are the main characteristics of this framework, which also included a closed building block with a height accent along the Gooiseweg to replace the Casa400 building.
Typically, only buildings with monumental value are reused. From a functional point of view, but also on account of durability, it seemed obvious to VMX Architects not to demolish the existing CASA400 (built for 400 student rooms), but to reuse it for the new student residences. In order to continue the green axis from the urban development plan, an archway has been made in the existing building. This is also where the new main entrance to the student residences is situated. The renovated building now has a curtain wall - light in weight and colour – giving it a shiny new appearance. The building now reflects the environment and opens itself to the interaction with the neighbourhood that the students desire.
A triangular building plot remained along this green axis, illustrative of the many rest areas in the city. The shape of the plot has dictated the floor plan of the new building (for 130 starters dwellings), but has also become the basis for the facade pattern. The quality of the anonymity desired by starters was examined more closely for the design of the tower. The triangular, somewhat remote building site and this more introverted character of the starters led to the massive precast concrete facade elements, which are finished with natural stone pebbles. This material, combined with the shape and size of the windows, and complemented by the radiation of the colours from the inhabitants’ interiors, make the tower a striking beacon for the city.