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Mecanoo

Langebrug student housing . Leiden

Mecanoo. Langebrug student housing . Leiden (2)

Mecanoo

The Langebrug-project lies in the heart of the historical centre of Leiden. The dynamic history of the location has resulted in the complete disappearance of the original medieval street plan of alleyways and courtyards woven between main corridors.
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Urban transformation
A plan was drafted in 2010 to transform the area into housing for 250 students. During the first phase a historic corner property at the intersection of the Langebrug and Steenschuur was redeveloped into approximately thirty individual residences. The remaining residences were subsequently developed throughout five separate building volumes. During this process the former fire hose drying tower built atop the foundation of the church side chapel, was preserved, as well as a fragment of the church facade along the Langebrug street. During the construction phase the fragment was discovered to be structurally unsound, and was replaced by a reconstruction.

Restoring the medieval street patterns
The new buildings restore the medieval street patterns using existing and new garden walls to define the edges of the historical alleys. Behind the brick masonry walls white plaster buildings rise up, and trees and landscaping come into view, resonating with the aesthetics of the immediate surroundings.

Daylight and courtyards
The buildings have been designed as compact apartment complexes. Each apartment is shared by three to four students. Attention has been paid, in particular, to the communal entries and hallways. Daylight and organically sweeping masonry walls guide movement from the main entrance to the individual front doors. The green courtyards, visible through the open ports in the garden walls, contrast with the small red pavers in the alleyways.
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Programme: Student housing (35 individual residences, 216 shared residences) spread across 5 buildings, integration and renovation of a 1,260 m2 portion of a historical monument; totalling 9,345 m2
Client: Stichting DUWO (previously SLS Leiden)
Architect: Dick van Gameren Architecten
Design: 2010-2014
Construction: 2012-2016
Contractor new build: Van Rhijn bouw, Katwijk
Contractor renovation: Bouwbedrijf Huurman b.v., Leiden
Structural engineer: Zonneveld ingenieurs b.v., Rotterdam
Mechanical and Electrical consultant: Mabutec, Snelrewaard

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