Leiden, the oldest university town in the Netherlands, has the most socially sustainable student campus in the country with the completion of the Student Campus (Y)ours. The car-free campus park will replace the currently inaccessible Lammenschanspark and connects the green Canal Zone with the ROC square and Lammenschans station.
Gently sloping lawns and ponds form the heart of the green campus. The benches around the green areas and the central terrace invite visitors and residents to meet and relax. Two bicycle paths cross the campus park and connect to important recreational trails around the Rhine-Schie Canal and to the city center. The buildings vary between six and sixteen levels. The facades are characterized by diverse heights, widths, colors, and materials – it is a modern interpretation of the Leiden canal district.
The design gives the campus a highly urbanized yet intimate and contemporary look. The same diversity is reflected in the types of homes. The large student housing complexes are divided into smaller units with a private entrance on the ground floor, where facilities are shared between the student and owner-occupied housing.
After completing their studies, students have the opportunity to transfer to the starter apartments and owner-occupied housing. The flexible design allows the student residences to be easily converted into care or starter homes. Sidewalks form the transition from residential to public paths and green areas. Private terraces connect the living rooms to the outdoor areas, increasing the vibrancy and social security of the campus. As a result, the residents feel more responsible for the management of 'their' public space.
Behind the apartments are more intimate courtyards with raised landscaped decks that open towards ground-level parking spaces and sports fields. The green decks can be used as meeting places. The campus is not only social, but also sustainable. Throughout the campus park, the original trees are kept, connecting the new neighborhood in a natural way with the existing environment.
The compact buildings are energy efficient and have low energy consumption. The parking decks are naturally ventilated. Combined with the flexible housing and pleasant living environment, Leidse Schans is one of the most socially sustainable student campuses in the Netherlands.