Inspired by the tiny house movement, small houses are designed to be super functional. Standard Studio, a multidisciplinary design collective based in Amsterdam, has created student accommodation in a former office building.
The complex is called Hermes City Plaza and is located in the center of Rotterdam, near the city hall, in a strategic position chosen specifically to facilitate the movement of students on Erasmus and beyond.
The team of designers, led by Wouter Slot, Rien Pels Rijcken, and Joyce Kelder, completely rethought the spaces of the multi-story building in order to create 218 student residences, all between 15 and 18 square meters in size, attributable to 3 models ( Room A, Room B, Room C).
The small size of the apartments was the major constraint of the intervention; a challenge won thanks to ingenious multitasking solutions, reminiscent of the experiments of certain avant-gardes carried out around the existenzminimum, inserted within a functional program that provides for a studied balance between private areas and collective services.
Each mini apartment, equipped with everything that the student needs such as bathroom, kitchen, dining, living, bedding. It has been designed in an intelligent and, above all, non-standard way, working on the available height.
All accommodations are equipped with a double bed which, in order not to take up space, is retractable or placed two meters from the floor, connected by a staircase that also acts as a wardrobe. Multifunction is the watchword, in this case, it means to optimize space and offer maximum performance, all the designed elements have a dual role.
An example? Since in some accommodations there was not enough space to place a sink with a mirror inside the bathroom, where a fairly spacious shower is placed, the kitchen sink was combined with the classic vanity unit thanks to a suspended panel. On the one hand, it is a practical mirror, while on the other it is a kitchen blackboard.
Materials and shades of color are the same for all apartments. The use of bamboo is beautiful, chosen not only for its lightness but also for its resistance, an indispensable quality in student accommodation. The shades, light and bright, give greater spaciousness to the rooms.
The project is completed by large common areas such as the roof terrace, the music room, the TV rooms but also a cycle path and a private garden.
Photography: Wouter van der Sar