The renovation of Casa Hotel in Amsterdam by i29


Thomas van Schaik, Ewout Huibers,



Refurbishment, Interior Design,

Casa – as the project is called – was born in Amsterdam in the late 1950s, founded by four friends looking to help solve the shortage of student accommodations. Thanks to the unique hotel and residence mix, the project continues to offer affordable housing for students. The i29 studio has created the new interior design for all 518 hotel rooms, in collaboration with the Lensvelt furniture brand and textile designer Mae Engelgeer.

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The renovation of Casa Hotel in Amsterdam by i29
We can find a proverb in pretty much every language that speaks of "making a virtue of necessity". The case of the famous Casa Hotel in Amsterdam is a perfect example of this, going back to 1957 when four friends wanted to create affordable student accommodations, which were already in short supply at the time. By using the building as a guest hotel in the summer, they were able to cover their expenses, while allowing students to benefit from affordable housing from October until May. A creative model that leads to an interesting, unique and stimulating mix of users, characterising the very spirit of the Casa Hotel.
But it was finally time for Casa Hotel’s 518 rooms to freshen up a bit. A job entrusted to the i29 Dutch interior design studio, which collaborated on the project with the renowned furniture brand Lensvelt and textile designer Mae Engelgeer. All of this, while keeping in mind that "Casa" has been a home for hotel guests, for students and for locals for 65 years: a unique concept in the hotel industry, with the fitting "Forever Young"
i29 has translated this concept into an eccentric, colourful and flexible design. The rooms can serve both as student rooms and hotel rooms. The rooms, in fact, can be easily customised without the need for additional furniture. In addition, careful consideration was given to the cleaning efficiency and the robustness of the elements.
Let’s take a closer look at how the designers were able to translate the concept of creating a diversity of rooms, where everything revolves around the idea of "coming home". Comfort and tactility play a central role in the design, thanks to the use of acoustic-enhancing materials such as felt made from recycled PET and fabric. The size of the project, with 518 rooms and a total area of 17,600 square metres allowed the development of unique products specifically for Casa, which express the brand identity and meet the criteria of intrinsic sustainability, in other words of being durable.
The rooms are available in different colours and classes, from standard to premium. The graphic style of Casa, designed by Lesley Moore, is recognisable in the line pattern of the flexible wooden wall cabinet system. But it is also evident in the form of "wall art", in the welcome flyer and in the information booklet.
Flexibility prevails in every space, with rooms that easily adapt to the resident student’s preferences and needs. For example, the hanging bedside table and headboard are interchangeable on the wall rail, which becomes multifunctional as it also leaves space for frames and personal decor elements to be added. Users can choose to place the bed, which incorporates a storage box, in the corner of the room and thus create more space for walking. The desk is deliberately not attached to the wall, so that it can also serve as a dining table with an additional chair. In addition, each room also includes a pantry, a classic table lamp and a windowsill with cushions that invites users to look outside.
In short, everything you need to create your own corner while in Amsterdam, regardless of whether your stay is short, in other words a holiday, or long, for the duration of the school year.
Moreover, the shared spaces on the ground floor welcome students and guests and offer beautiful opportunities to meet and socialise in a carefully designed and cheerful environment.

Christiane Bürklein

Interior design: i29
Management & product development: Lensvelt
Textile design: Mae Engelgeer
Graphic design: Lesley Moore
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Images: Ewout Huibers, Thomas van Schaik