De Key housing association is developing 216 apartments for first-timers in the future residential tower ‘Stepstone’. These will be the first of 2,700 homes to be built close to VU Amsterdam in the years ahead. Construction started in 2022, with completion scheduled for this year. 

Designed by LEVS architects, the tower will be called Stepstone. Having received tenders and draft designs from three Dutch architects’ firms, De Key selected this design in consultation with the City. The social rented apartments will be in a tower 80 metres in height and are specifically intended for first-timers up to the age of 28. They will be permitted to live there for up to five years, after which the intention is for them to move on to another home. 


Green courtyard garden, no cars.
The apartments will vary in size from 25 sq. m. to 60 sq. m. The complex will have a roof terrace, featuring a sports field, a large courtyard garden and a communal living room where residents can meet, organise activities, or work. There will be a storage area for bikes and scooters, but no parking spaces for cars. The building will feature light materials and glass, numerous balconies, and vertical planting along the façades.


‘Innovation District’
In alliance with VU Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC, the City is developing a completely new neighbourhood, known as the Innovation District (or Knowledge District), in this part of Zuidas. The area is south of the A10, between Parnassusweg/Buitenveldertselaan, Amstelveenseweg, and A.J. Ernststraat. Stepstone will be located on Mahlerlaan, on the area of derelict land, next to The Pulse of Amsterdam and behind the Hourglass and NoMA House (offices of Loyens & Loeff and KraftHeinz) buildings. This is where we are building the ‘Innovation District’, with around 2,700 homes. There will also be space for knowledge-related businesses, a primary school, culture, and hospitality and catering. It will be a neighbourhood that brings together healthcare, science, and entrepreneurship. However, it will take quite some time before this development has been completed.