Youth housing Oosterheem


The housing block in the Oosterheem estate in Zoetermeer consists of 125 compact social-sector apartments for young people. The apartments, on average about 50 m2 in floor area, are arranged back to back. This gives the block a sculptural appearance without an explicit front or rear facade. A monumental staircase forms the pivot of a cluster of twelve apartments. The staircase also functions as a collective outdoor space. The building system is designed for flexibility: removing a detachable wall converts two of the present apartments into a single larger one. Each apartment has a balconette, and a collective garden is provided at ground floor level. On the street side, a pavement bordered by low parapets forms an intermediate zone between the public and private domains. The facades incline forwards by 40 cm per storey, giving this zone a sheltered feeling. The sloping elevation also reflects differences in the size of the apartments. The apartments at one end of the block are served by a lift; these are larger than the others and have a collective terrace on the roof.
The facade filler panels of brickwork in a relief pattern were prefabricated in combination with concrete. The result is, paradoxically, a massive, richly detailed building which is at the same time a lightweight ‘Meccano model’ of filler panels framed by steel joists.


Zoetermeer, NL, 1999-2004

Oosterheem, Zoetermeer, 125 apartments for social rent Youth Housing 

Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists

Marlies Rohmer

Simone van den Brink met
Gerben Mienis
Karmen Prlic
Jette Lindquist
Martin Koster

De Goede Woning, Zoetermeer

urban plan
T.K.A., Almere

structural engineer
Ingenieursgroep Van Rossum, Amsterdam

building contractor
ERA Bouw BV, Zoetermeer

Rob ‘t Hart

design date


GFA: 9314 m²


Copyright Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists