- Address: Jacoba van Beierenlaan, Delft
- Number of residents: 18
- Shared rooms: Bathroom, kitchen, common room
- Rent: EUR 280 - 450
- Landlord: DUWO
- How to get this house: Roommate voting-in
- Together: Cooking, eating, parties, treasure hunts, vacations
It’s Ontvangstweek (OWee) in Delft once again, and all the student houses are reunited after the summer break. The student houses in the Jacoba van Beierenlaan – more commonly known as JvB – are no exception, but rather the rule. The entire complex, located in the southwest of Delft and consisting of 32 student houses, is one big party. Students sit outside, some just hanging out, and some houses have full dinner parties. Evidence of parties the night before is everywhere: confetti, beer cans, and other party debris.
House Okkebas is no exception. Of the 18 residents, eight of them are gathered around a table preparing dinner, and four friends from outside the house have joined them. Even though 10 housemates aren’t there, the energy in the room is high and happy. Sophie Dransfeld, who is 22 years old and studies Life Science and Technology at TU Delft, is cooking a recipe from her cookbook. Tonight’s meal is called kip in de hoed - vegan chicken mixed with string beans, cherries, and curry baked in pastry.
“We don’t actually know where the name of our house, Okkebas, comes from,” says Sophie. “It was made up some generations ago. The tradition is that the house elder tells the youngest in the house, but we’re pretty sure our current house elder has forgotten it.”
‘We are actually all very different’
House Okkebas has everything any student needs to enjoy their student life. The walls are painted with colourful murals, which are repainted regularly depending on the theme of the most recent party. Currently, the murals are based on a ‘Plants and Washing Machines’ theme, each mural juxtaposing natural beauty with the unexpected beauty of doing one’s laundry – a valuable hint in a student house, perhaps. The common room has several mismatched and cosy couches which are sometimes arranged as an impromptu sleepover for guests or in the style of a movie theatre for movie nights with the house.
“What makes this house unique is that we are actually all very different,” says Neil van Acoleyen, who is 22 and doing a master’s in Computer Science. “We have different interests, different studies, and are sometimes members of different societies. We don’t really have specific questions in the roommate search.”
“We would just see who we clicked with,” said Eben Rogers, 24, also doing a master’s in Computer Science.
“If there was a potential roommate we really clicked with, we would ask them to talk with our other housemates,” said Neil. “We want as many people in the house to get along as possible so we can continue to have fun together.”
A house that prioritises fun has no trouble having great house nights. “My favourite house night was when we had a scavenger hunt. Our house eldest planned it,” recalls Anne Elgersma, 25. A graduate of Applied Physics, Anne is currently House Okkebas’ only working resident.
“Yes, it was quite crazy,” recalls Sophie. “The whole house split up into pairs and we were all given one tool to find the treasure. One group was given a map, another a shovel, and my group was given a key. That was all we had to work with!”
“Yeah, I fell into a canal that night,” said Alex Boersma, who is 21 and studies Mechanical Engineering. “But in my defence, the algae had grown over it, and it really looked like grass!”
“My group ended up finding the treasure,” said Sophie. “It was in a plastic treasure chest, probably from SoLow, buried in a pile of sand. Inside was a piece of paper that just said ‘Friendship’.” That night, the residents discovered that the real treasure in their student life was the friendships they made at House Okkebas.