The Story of Casa
The legendary story of Casa starts out with four friends and a mission. Casa was founded in the late ‘50’s, aiming to solve the housing shortage for students. By partly hosting hotel guests in the building, Casa is – to this day – able to provide students an enjoyable and affordable student housing. Assuring a unique mixture of people that’ll never leave you bored.
Four ambitious students, a symbolic amount of 100 gulden and a shortage on student housing in Amsterdam. This is how the Foundation Casa Academica started. A hotel during the summers, and student home for the rest of the year.
After arranging all the necessary fundings, the first pole of Casa400 is pounded into the ground at the James Wattstraat on November 12th, 1959.
31 October 1962: The official opening of Casa Academica. Even de Minister of Education and Culture, and the Mayor attend the happening. The event is displayed in all newspapers: Casa is the future of Amsterdam East.
New director and young hospitality professional Max Wellink blows in some fresh air into Casa. Wellink engages students in the process making and for the first time Casa gains a mixed floor. Beforehand girls and boys were separated.
In the summer of 1964 Casa is greatly honoured to welcome the Chinese Opera from Beijing. As an experienced host Wellink makes sure the group receives all the service they need. The entire ninth floor is converted to a rehearsel department.
Gradus van Nieuwkuijk becomes the new director of Casa, and soon becomes one of the most popular directors from Casa. The amiable man is known for its honest interest in students and could sit and chat with them for hours.
After years of student housing, it is time for an update. Casa 400 invests 1 million gulden a year for a decent renovation.
A small group of students gets the innovative idea to start a bar called ‘Casa Croeg’. A smashing success. Parties and gatherings find their way into Casa’s home, and up to now, this place remains the hangout spot for residents.
Marianne van Meurs becomes Casa’s first directress. The experienced lady states it is about time for a new Casa. In 2005 van Meurs becomes responsible for the construction of the new building on the ‘Eerste Ringdijkstraat’.
The ‘90’s seem less appealing for hotel guests, and to the delight of the students, Marianne van Meurs decides students can stay at Casa during the summer of 1995 - one time only.
In line with the projects for Casa’s new location, there comes a new director: Hans Vugts, who has some big plans for Casa. However, since Marianne van Meurs is still directing as well uncertainty arises on who is leading the project.
The new Casa complex is officially opened by Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. The complex offers more of a hotel vibe with a bed, a large desk, a flat screen TV and Wi-Fi. Win-win, since this makes moving in-and-out easier for students as well.
The old Casa complex, located in the Amsterdam Eenhoorn area, is being redeveloped in cooperation with VMX Architects. The borough is transforming towards a lively area of Amsterdam.
Hotel Casa opens a new concept called East57. A coffee corner, a deli, a restaurant and a wine bar all in one. The name finds its origin in the startup story. ‘57 being the establishment year and ‘East’ because of the location.
Hotel Casa opens NEST. A roof terrace and hotspot for the outsiders, lovebirds and chatterers. Truly unique because of its green ambiance.
In 2017, Casa will celebrate her 60th birthday. Stay tuned to find out what’s about to happen!