The Student Hotel Delft, located centrally in the Nieuw Delft area development, is a meeting place in the city to live, work, and study. The diversity of functions contributes to the dynamics of the station area. The new building connects with the bus square, the old station building and the new intercity station hall with municipal offices. Dialogue and openness towards the urban context were crucial for designing the latest destination of The Student Hotel in the Netherlands.
The hybrid hotel concept combines high-end hotel functions with short and long stay facilities for students. The ensemble, with its 13,500 sq m, includes 340 hotel rooms, a gym, a restaurant, and a library. In addition, the programme provides gaming and lounge rooms as well as several conference facilities and coworking areas.
The architecture mitigates between the scale of the buildings of the Phoenixstraat and the smaller grain of the Koendersbuurt. With its robust appearance and the recognisable traditional construction of plinth, main volume, and structure, the building offers a counterbalance to the glass dominated municipal office. The main volume consists of a sturdy ribbed concrete shell.
Edward Schuurmans, a partner of KCAP, explains that ‘with the lively and transparent plinth containing many public facilities, The Student Hotel is a present to the station square of Delft; the architecture presents a soft vintage boldness that suits vigorous student life’. The pronounced interior design underlines this feeling while the facade welcomes the passers-by with an interplay of reflection, light, and shadow.
All the public hotel functions are located in the plinth; here storey-high glass panels and concrete columns alternate. The plinth's transparent design creates a vibrant streetscape and activates the station square towards the nearby park. On the floors above that have a more solid aspect with earthy colour, the communal student kitchens are visible in the open glass corners. The top presents a lighter tone and blurs in the cityscape. By positioning the rooms around a patio and inside the two towers, an efficient and compact layout that fosters the community building has been created.
The designer worked in an integrated team with BAM for the design, using the latest digital techniques to control the entire process. The building is fully elaborated in a 3D model; these models not only provide added value in the building process but are also suitable for visualisations and virtualisation.
In addition to community building and social interaction, sustainability is an essential focus in the design. The project distinguishes itself by using the latest installation, construction, and engineering techniques, like soil-based thermal energy, combined heat and power system, and application of circular economy for the interiors of the ground floor and common areas. Thanks to its position at a public transportation hub and a bicycle shed, The Student Hotel encourages sustainable mobility.
The hotel has been awarded a 'BREEAM Very Good' certificate. Project partners also included The Fiction Factory for furniture and advice on sustainable materials and The Good Plastics Company for recycled plastic wall elements. The project was completed in 2020.