Ravel Residence


Officially, the name of this building is the Student Experience. In its name is the home of 800 students plus staff, plus a cafe, a dining area, study rooms, common areas, laundry, and to top it off, a sports field installed on the roof and sitting gardens. Overlooking the best of Zuid.

To learn more about it, you have to dig for Ravel. Start with the façade, one of the most recognizable in Amsterdam. See it once and never forget it. Because it makes so much sense – the geometric shapes, the infinite circles. It is like looking at the success story of a factory. I was dying to know what it looked like on the inside, so one day I walked behind a UPS delivery and went inside the courtyard. No lie, I was a little surprised. The circles outside were a normal smooth wall on the inside, with a central courtyard. I posted about it here, and miracle, was invited for a coffee by their lovely social team. 

Immediately inside the glass doors you forget all about the outside. The inside looks normal enough, until in the distance of long hallways you see those round windows from the outside and remember you’re somewhere a little different. Students everywhere fill the energy and I was given a tour of a set space for potential renters, one real room (but no pictures), and one empty room. Try to imagine yourself looking through this barrier and what do you see.

The window makers DUCO explain the façade as a Skin window – and extra layer between individual “normal” windows, that maintain ventilation and movement during the seasons. The design is purely functional.

But it sure does inspire the image of unity and collaboration among students, who are “at the start of their living career.” The windows working hard to give a healthy, sustainable, unique perspective for the world.

Ravel Residence, Student Experience
Zuidas Amsterdam

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