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About this project

DUWO has been constructing student homes on the grounds of the previous prison De Koepel in Haarlem since September 2021. This concerns 82 units in the former De Vest detention centre building, which is also located on the grounds. The plan for the student homes is part of the total redevelopment of the former prison buildings and the surrounding area. Other parties are also involved.

Preparatory demolition work was conducted in De Vest through July 2021. Completion of the units is anticipated by July 2022. It is expected that students can live here from the end of 2022.


The units

Independent dwellings, including six one-bedroom homes, will be realised in De Vest. So, you have a private kitchen, bathroom and toilet. The size of the homes varies from 21 to 39 m2. The homes are semi-furnished (curtains and floor covering). Therefore, you don’t have to provide for those things yourself.


  • Laundry facilities;
  • Air-conditioning system that provides both heating and cooling;
  • Property manager’s space.

The surroundings

In De Vest, you live in a unique location in Haarlem. The building itself is the former “Huis van Bewaring” detention centre on the De Koepel grounds, which served as a prison until 2016. Everyone in Haarlem knows this panopticon, or circular prison. It is a national monument that was built between 1899 and 1901. There are only three panopticons in the Netherlands. The others are located in Breda and Arnhem. With their enormous dome, they look iconic. So, it’s no wonder that plans for redevelopment were made when the Haarlem prison was no longer used as such. The renovation of the building is already under way. This is being done with as much preservation of the historic interior as possible. In addition to the redevelopment of existing building, there will also be new construction.

All sorts of things can soon be done in and around the renovated Koepel dome. For example, there will be a university college, a cinema, hotel and catering establishments, workplaces, room for workshops and greenery, among other uses. The Koepel dome itself will be open to the public and will have a reading café and a small museum. The museum is to be dedicated to the resistance fighter Hannie Schaft, who was detained in De Vest during the Second World War prior to her execution by the Germans. For many people, Hannie Schaft is also known as the main character in the 1981 film by Ben Vorbeng “The girl with the red hair” (Het meisje met het rode haar).

De Vest is not the only student housing to be created in the panopticon. DUWO is also working on a new construction plan for 165 homes on the site. It is not yet known when it can be started. Aside from student homes, 100 homes for young people will be built around the former prison by the housing corporation Elan.

Considering everything, the Koepel grounds will soon be a cosy, lively, accessible spot where you will meet everyone including many other students, young entrepreneurs, Haarlem residents and tourists. The expectation is that everything will be ready by mid-2024.

The Koepel dome is located near the centre of Haarlem. You can bike there in three minutes via the Catharijnebrug bridge over the Spaarne River. It is four minutes to Haarlem Station.

Design and construction

The design for the student housing in De Vest was elaborated by architectural firm J. van Stigt BV of Amsterdam.

The renovation will be carried out by HBB of Heemstede.


  • Gas-free;
  • Solar panels on the roof for the provision of hot water;
  • Minimal use of materials during the construction;
  • Proper insulation.

Contract and rental prices

As in all of DUWO’s student housing, you will receive a campus rental contract here. This means that you can live here during your entire study programme, but you must move to another residence six months after you have graduated.

The rental prices are not yet known at this time, but they will be affordable for students in any case. Housing benefits are possible for all units.



  • City HAARLEM


  • Dwelling Type Studentenwoningen
  • Number of dwellings 82