Program: Private residential
Gross floor area: 240 m2
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The project is located on the top two floors of a historic canal house on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. The building was originally build in 1687 by Andries Claesz van der Woude. He was a master carpenter and had build many canal houses. This particular one he build for himself. Famous historical people that lived in the building during the golden age of Amsterdam include Pieter Haak van Hoven (Merchant), Elias Schellinger (Alderman Amsterdam) and Johanna Sara Bicker (widow of Jan Bernd Bicker).
The building use had changed many time over the centuries. Many refurbishments to adapt the building to its use were the result. Before the start of the refurbishment the top two floors were used as an apartment but the interior was dating from a previous use as an office.
As with many canalhouses in Amsterdam, settlements had caused a serious movement in the foundations and the floors were far from level. Next to this the timber roof structure had been severely damaged by previous refurbishments.
As the building is listed (Rijksmonument) the changes to the building structure, that were allowed, were limited. Working together with the municipality we first made an inventory of the building and described which parts were historical an which parts were added in recent years. This gave us a good idea of what we could remove / change.
By doing this we saw an opportunity for a void in the top floor and a large rooflight in a part of the roof that was added in the 1960's. This brought light in to the centre of the apartment where it was most needed.
Due to the particular shape of the roof we saw an opportunity to add two dormers to the historical roof. This made part of the top floor, which could only be used as a storage into an extra bedroom.
The historic roof structure had to be partly replaced. To replace large joists the contractor searched throughout the Netherlands to find a historic joist with the right dimensions. After finding this large piece of timber, which in itself was hundreds of years old, it was transported to Amsterdam and carefully moved into position.
The apartment became the perfect mix between the historic building and contemporary architecture, complementing each other and providing a new home for a family in the city centre of Amsterdam.