Octavia Hill by Studioninedots

Octavia Hill

We were commissioned by our client BPD to design a new building for plot K27 in Hyde Park, the large-scale urban development in the city of Hoofddorp. Our challenge was to create a building here that houses as many as 124 quality social housing units in a complex volume and activates the three urban axes around.

MVRDV’s urban design transforms the former office area in Hoofddorp into a new city district, part of Metropolitan Region Amsterdam. Hyde Park has a high density of 400,000m², formed by the new, urban building blocks.

Plot K27 is situated in the heart of Hyde Park and is outlined by three main axes running through the area. This accounts for its prominent position and simultaneously the narrower and unusual building envelope.

We turned both the urban planning and the unique shape and scale of our site from two preconditions into the opportunity to create Octavia Hill as a new volume, which is as abstract as it is distinctive.

From different perspectives, Octavia Hill invariably looks different to passers-by — from a pure, orthogonal block to an abstract object that stirs your curiosity.

On the one hand, the urban plan prescribed ‘cuts’ — bevels that allow daylight into the streets and views from the dwellings — at the top of the volumes. We converted this factor into an added quality: a terrace structure of outdoor spaces on the upper floors, accessible to all residents.

The cascading arrangement allows residents of all levels to interact here continually. In addition, each building in Hyde Park features so-called ‘bites’: cutaways that introduce layers into the facades and enhance cohesion between all buildings.

We utilised this element to not only give the two entrances to the public base more prominence, yet to leave more public space around the building.

Within the demarcated space, we created high-quality and varied social housing, and brought it together with a community café and workspaces that are open for use by residents and the neighbourhood.

In the five-metre-high plinth, we added deeper recesses, with seats where people can relax on the street. We opted for a single blue-green, engobed brick, which gives Octavia Hill a softened, silk-like reflection.

Applying the bricks in stack bond and equally spreading windows and piers along the facades render Octavia Hill an abstract object. Glazed bricks have been installed only in the bites, which create a play of light that makes the entrances stand out.

The contrasting balustrades not only allow all windows to be fully opened, but also give Octavia Hill the warmer appearance of a residential building. Construction of Octavia Hill started in late 2023. The building is expected to be ready in July 2025. Source by Studioninedots.

  • Location: Hyde Park, Hoofddorp, Netherlands
  • Architect: Studioninedots
  • Design team: Albert Herder, Vincent van der Klei, Arie van der Neut, Metin van Zijl, Wouter Hermanns, Erik de Haan, Camille Moreau, Erik Hoogendam, Rutger van der Meer
  • Collaborators: MVRDV, Snippe Projecten, AtelierBouwkunde, De Vries en Verburg, Goudstikker De Vries, Hiensch Engineering, Bureau Bouwfysica
  • Client: BPD, Ymere
  • Programme: 124 social housing units, workspaces, community café, semi-underground bicycle parking
  • GFA: 9.500m2
  • Realizazion: 2025
  • Images: SURREND3R, Courtesy of Studioninedots