Published in DASH #10 - Housing the Student
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‘On to the Generic Assignment’

Double Interview with Niek Verdonk and Marlies Rohmer

A number of cities in the Netherlands are struggling with a shortage of housing for students. As a result, student housing is one of the few residential building assignments still being taken on in the present economic climate. This is also the case with Groningen, where in 2010 an ambitious programme was started for the development of 4,500 student units by the year 2015. Called bouwjong!, the programme has been underway for some years now and it offers insight into the possibilities and impossibilities of carrying out such an assignment at the present juncture. In a compilation of two separate interviews, one with Groningen City Architect Niek Verdonk, initiator of bouwjong!, and one with architect Marlies Rohmer, who is both a curator and an inspirational guide for the project, Verdonk and Rohmer shed light on the strong points of the assignment, the importance of young people’s housing for the city and the effect that the present crisis has on the issue of housing for young people…1


  • In 2010, on commission from the Department of City Planning and Economic Affairs (dienst RO/EZ) of the City of Groningen, Marlies Rohmer and the Chair of Architecture and Dwelling at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, made an inspirational book within the framework of bouwjong! for architects, clients and initiators. After the manifestation was over, the contents of this book and the results of bouwjong! Were combined in the publication bouwjong! woningbouw voor jongeren (bouwjong! Housing for Young People), René Asschert, Erik Dorsman, Dick van Gameren, Paul Kuitenbrouwer, Marlies Rohmer, Peter Michiel Schaap and Niek Verdonk (Groningen: Platform G.R.A.S., 2012)