Slotermeer: laat je het hof maken!

Transformation of the courtyards and duplex-housing in the Couperusbuurt for a better social security   This graduationproject deals with an early post-war neighbourhood of Slotermeer, in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. The major problem in these neighbourhoods is a lack of social security which causes poor liveability. This lead to a study investigating which architectural and urban tools can influence social security and how these tools can be used to transform the courtyard houses of the Couperusbuurt. The outcomes of the study suggested a number of interventions to improve the architectural and urban structure. The measures are subsequently implemented in the design, building upon the (potential) qualities and overcoming its weaknesses. The main goal is to improve the inhabitants' perception of security.When I first visited this neighbourhood, I immediately saw the potential of this place: with its lush green structure weaving through the tiny building blocks, it almost feels as if you have arrived in a small village far away from the city. You can see the ideas of the Garden City. Unfortunately, problems with both social security of the neighbourhood, dilpidated urban space and bad housing quality make this neighourhood generally unappealing.With these qualities and weaknesses in mind, I added a new concept to the courtyard housing: creating a new world inside the courtyard. The character of this place will be unique, and very different from spaces outside the courtyard. Two new layers are added inside the courtyard: a 'carpet' on the ground, and a 'mask' on the facade. One of the main goals of this concept is creating a gradual transition from the public street to the private rooms inside the house. In this way you can also add more seclusion to the courtyards. Both the gradual transition and the increased seclusion will be benificial for the (feeling of) social security.The potential quality of the Couperusbuurt lies in the urban space, not necessarily in the housing. When keeping the existing housing, maintaining its character and scale, only a certain level of improvement is achievable. This is why I think the main draw of the Couperusbuurt' housing should be the attractive space surrounding the buildings. In my plan, I tried to maximize the level of improvement of the duplex houses by increasing spatial quality, increasing floor space for 35 m² to 77m² and go from a F-label to an  A++ label on energy performance. Couperusbuurt, AmsterdamDelft University of Technologyjanuary 2013 - april 2014Tutors: ir. L.G.K. Spoormans & dr. ir. W.J. Quist   View my graduation research and project.    

Slotermeer: laat je het hof maken!

Hotel and conference center

Re-use and restoration of an educational building   In this first Master project of RMIT (modification, intervention and transformation) we redesigned a former faculty building, originally built for the TU Delft. This characteristic building has a Neo-Gothic style and was built in 1903 by Government Architect Jacobus van Lokhorst. The assignment was to transform this building to a function of a hotel and conference center.In this project, which I performed individually, led me to think about the program first. I wanted to give this building separate parts for the hotel and the conference center. This also shows on entrances and routing. Afterwards, I soon distillated four concepts as basic principles for my design. The most obvious transformation being the addition of a new passage. This passage 'penetrates' the old building in two directions and makes a new routing system on ground floor, where this also enables a connection between the old and the new parts of the building.Also, some parts of the old building are (almost) completely preserved, and other parts are totally new, with exception of the facade. This is the case in the big entrance hall for the hotel, where the connection to the conference center is made. To look for more order in both the contours and the surrounding outside areas of the building, new volumes enclose two courtyards and make the outer building contours more logical. Kanaalweg 2, Delft, NetherlandsDelft University of TechnologySeptember 2011 - January 2012Tutors: ir. H. Brouwer & A.J. van Bommel    

Hotel and conference center

Ny Banegårdsgade

Transformation of the station area in Aarhus   During my exchange semester in Denmark I chose to participate in the studio Urban Design. The assignment of this design project was based on an existing competion for the transformation of the stationarea in the city of Aarhus. The second part of the assignment was implementing a new building for the Aarhus School of Architecture into the area. The area is currently used as the main bus terminal for Aarhus, but in the future this area will serve as an important connection between the trainstation and the to-be developed docklands.As a starting point of the design, the area will be considered one big building mass where essential elements can be carved out. The most important element is a passage that will be created by splitting the area in two. This passage should serve as a 'shortcut' for cyclists and pedestrians between the trainstation and the docklands.In contrast to the existing design proposals, it should have a clear structure which invites people to actually pass through this way. My general idea about urbanism is that urban space should serve their users in the best way possible. I think it's important to design understandable and usable urban space with a clear purpose.Secondly, a new building for the Aarhus School of Architecture needed to be implemented into the transformation area. What inspired me to design, was the potential opportunity for an exchange between the architecture school and the city. Architecture students have a lot to offer the city and its people. Not only can we provide people in a commercial way, by offering shops and services, but we can also create and enviroment where we can inspire people by showing creativity. Currently, a lot of our inspiring work stays behind closed doors within the school. It prevents interaction. Moreover, things we create are for people. That's why we have to allow people to acces our works. We can use the city as our exhibition space and society as our audience. By connecting public functions of the school to the new public space in the area, this exchange can take place. Ny Banegårdsgade, Aarhus, DenmarkAarhus School of ArchitectureSeptember 2012 - January 2013Tutors: B. Brorman Jensen & T. Nielsen    

Ny Banegårdsgade

Piramide Boerhaave school

Transformation from school to school   During my internship at Serge Schoemaker Architects I participated in the work for the design competition of the Piramide Boerhaave school in Haarlem. This school, built in 1964, was researched and a preliminary design was made to show how this school can be revived by means of renovation and transformation. The Piramide Boerhaave school has certain features that make the school worth keeping, its main quality being the size of the classrooms. One of the most interesting things about the original design is the building structure. If you would remove all the facade elements and partitions, what is left is a fine composition of solid walls. In the design, the rhythm of these structural elements are continuated in order to expand the existing school. All rooms of the school are currently accessed by a structure of corridors. At three ends of these corridors are units that contain toilets and storage, which are shared by two classrooms. Although the structure of corridors is preserved and continuated in the design, the units that end the corridors are transformed in a way that a visual connection to the green setting of the school is established. By adding windows to all ends of the corridors, there will be a strong connection between the inner and outer spaces of the school. Another intervention is the coverage of the outside patios. In this way, the otherwise unused outside space can serve as collective spaces for school. These three different patio's can have multiple purposes, such as spaces for meeting, playing, celebrations or performances. This intervention would solve one of the current problems of the school, which is a shortage of spaces to educate children in small groups. The school currently has a very strong frontside and backside and entering the school from the backside is circuitous and generally uninviting. Transformation of the gym, that forms the main barrier between front and back, allows a stronger visual and functional connection and upgrades the spaces adjacent to the gym.   Semmelweisstraat 5, HaarlemSerge Schoemaker Architects, AmsterdamPreliminary designNovember 2014 - March 2015      

Piramide Boerhaave school

There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans

Jane Jacobs


  • About, first image
  • About,second image



Sanne Knoll completed her MSc Architecture at the Delft University of Technology, in April 2014. The second semester of her MSc degree was spent studying at the Aarhus School of Architecture. After graduating, she made a 7-month trip through Asia and has been working as an intern at Serge Schoemaker Architects since February 2015.

After finishing her BSc in Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen in 2008, she decided to change course and leave to study Architecture in Delft. 





I am conscientious, committed and sincere, with an appetite for learning and exploring new things. Constant improvement is one of my hallmarks, and I work hard to ensure this. Being an empathic, social person, I enjoy the companionship of other people and relish social activities.

Having studied Human Movement Sciences I have an inherent concern for the movement and experience of the human being in relation to architecture. I am fascinated by the way architecture and urbanism influence the use and vitality of places, and I am curious to know which factors are responsible for its succes or failure. For me, the most interesting challenge lies in designing with existing buildings and spaces, especially when these are set amidst a strongly defined context. 



  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • AutoCad
  • SketchUp
  • Maya


Keep in touch with me

You can use the contact form and the following information to contact me

Name: Sanne Knoll
Address: Verversstraat 40, 1011JA, Amsterdam, Netherlands