‘On to the Generic Assignment’

Interview with Niek Verdonk and Marlies Rohmer


  • Pierijn van der Putt TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


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.

Author Biography

Pierijn van der Putt, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Pierijn van der Putt (Eindhoven, 1973) studied Architecture at Delft University of Technology, the University of Illinois in Chicago and Drexel University in Philadelphia. He worked as an editor for Dutch architectural magazine de Architect for seven years before returning to Delft. There, in addition to being an editor for DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing), he teaches academic research and architectural design for the group of Architecture and Dwelling. His particular interest lies in creative writing and in improving academic writing skills.