Residential canalhouse Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam

Client: private

Surface: 500 sqm

Proceedings: restoration, architectural and interior design, VO to DO / TO, implementation supervision, aesthetic guidance, tender documents, working drawings, delivery.

Delivered: October 2019

Click on the pictures below to see the project before the renovation.

This monumental canalhouse was built in 1685 as part of a row of 3 buildings. The client and resident at that time was a Lutheran wine buyer. The secret annex was probably realized in 1750.

A number of renovations took place in 1900 and 1943. Despite these renovations, in the more than 300 years of history of the building, the layout has remained fairly unchanged, especially the central staircase is probably original. However, this staircase was modeled after the much smaller 17th century man. That is why the biggest challenge was fitting in an extra stairwell to improve accessibility between the 3 most used floors.

The most suitable place for this was the connecting piece between the front and the back house. The demolition of a utility room, completed in 1943, paved the way for the reorganization of the cluttered connecting piece: fitting in a few large glass fronts and placing 2 slender steel-plate stairs. Despite the limited space available, it has been possible to make the stairs well accessible and make the whole spacious and transparent.

The ground floor of the rear house is furnished as the central kitchen diner. In order to make the beautiful city garden more involved in the house, the existing brick extension of the rear house in 1943 was replaced by a slender glass construction. The corner facade can be slid open completely so that the kitchen flows into the terrace without any thresholds.

With the exception of a single wall in the basement, the original layout of the monument has been maintained. A modern electrical and climate installation has been integrated almost invisibly. The back room of the first floor is furnished as a library, the “room” in the back house is used as a salon, where the paneling is painted in blue color nuances after intensive color research and experimentation.

The 1st floor of the front house is fully intended as a comfortable sleeping floor for the clients.
The former attic of the back house has been insulated and converted into a spacious guest house.

In order to achieve a careful balance between contemporary times and the monument, and between comfort and tradition, a wide palette of materials was used during the renovation. From stainless steel to marble, from patinated brass to ribbon-sawn walnut. The result is a pleasant family home where history is embraced by the contemporary.











Photography: Wouter van der Sar