Amsterdam Canal House
Situated in the heart of the city, this seventeenth-century corner house offers views of two Amsterdam canals. At the request of the owners, the designated state monument has been modernized and made more sustainable. Serge Schoemaker Architects transformed the five-floor home into a new visual composition that enhances the historical qualities of this remarkable building to the full.
Frequently renovated over the years, the interior of the residence had acquired a cluttered and eclectic character. Structural sagging and a tapered volume had left the house with sloping floors, walls and windows. Moreover, the floor area was relatively small by current standards. The redevelopment, therefore, necessitated customized solutions that emphasize light, air and space.
The vision to make the new interior as spacious as possible involved creating an open floor-plan, space-saving sliding doors, efficient staircases and slender balustrades on every floor. The attic level with the mansard roof has been completely stripped and redesigned with an open staircase and transparent bathroom.
This new spaciousness accentuates the existing timber beams and trusses, as well as the floor to ceiling windows with glazing bars and views of the vibrant city. White floors and walls draw daylight deep into the home. Customized staircases and furniture create warm touches and highlight contrasts.
Details, materials and colours are repeated consistently on all floors of the house, resulting in a visual unity in which new additions complement existing elements. The stone-like floor and wall finishes in the modern kitchen on the ground-floor hark back to the seventeenth-century period. The same concept informed the new balustrades and banisters that echo traditional ironwork.
Traditionally crafted waterproof lime plasterwork give the kitchen and bathrooms on the open floors a pleasant appearance. The special qualities of this plasterwork on the rear wall of the kitchen in particular, which is relatively high because of the split-level floor, enhance the new domestic atmosphere. The deep-blue wall appears as a huge painting as one enters the house.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Team: Serge Schoemaker, Maiara Camilotti; Farimah Chaman Zadeh, Henrik Holte
Photography: MWA Hart Nibbrig