Monumental renovation Herengracht 266 Amsterdam

Location: Herengracht 266, Amsterdam
Client: Edmond de Rothschild REIM (Benelux) B.V.
Surface: 2,400 m2
Activities: Architectural and Interior Design CO to TO, environmental permit application, aesthetic implementation supervision.
Project completion: April 2023
Photography: Wouter Van der Sar / Paul Staring
Herengracht 258-266 is a national monument and has its origins in the canal house at number 258 built in 1765. The left part of the complex with numbers 260-266 was built in 1918, both properties were merged in 1938. Despite this amalgamation, from the canal they appear to be 2 stately individual properties. Once inside, the fragmented history can be seen: from residential house to multiple residential houses, demolition, new construction office, add on, build on, infill, to school, museum and back to office. The interior and roofscape were also the result of this history: incoherent, cluttered, dark and unkempt. With the departure of several subtenants, an opportunity arose to renovate the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th floors and make it a cohesive and future-proof landmark. Therefore a plan was made to upgrade the original entrance and stairwell of number 266, reorganize the interior around a new central light court, renew the outdated installations and make it more sustainable. Also, to reorganize the cluttered roof landscape, with a new penthouse with a panoramic view of downtown Amsterdam crowning the building.

The new penthouse is the most visible part of the project. The original 1956 roof structure nearly fell apart. The new penthouse capitalizes on its greatest quality: the view. Because Herengracht 266 is just a bit higher than its neighbors, there is almost a 360-degree view, from the Palace on Dam Square, the Westertoren to the Rijksmuseum. The challenge was to realize this penthouse within the given frameworks of the protected cityscape, the national monument and the zoning plan. Within those frameworks, we created a design for a penthouse that is both sustainable, contemporary and appropriate within the historical context of Amsterdam’s canal belt. The incorporation of photovoltaic panels, a green roof and optimization of the roof insulation contribute to the sustainability of this renovated monument.

A modern steel staircase connects the penthouse to the rest of the building, letting daylight reflect and enter the space. The staircase is made of polished stainless steel with Black-Tin PVD-coated plates.

The restrooms were rearranged to open up more floor space in the open-plan office at the back. A new light court and glass floors make sure that sunlight reaches the center of the building. The E & W installations were planned and installed carefully to make the most of free space on the office floors.

DITT.officemakers handles the interior design of the tenant’s space.

The new elevator in the stairwell is elevated to the 5th floor and features glass doors. The elevator core is lined with an acoustically absorbent wooden wall and the floor is finished with stylish marble. Following this, the “period rooms” at the front of the complex are classically decorated with paneling, parquet flooring and a plaster ceiling with decorative moldings. The air handling system is concealed behind the ceiling.

Under the roof of Herengracht 266, a forgotten musty attic has been transformed into a bright multifunctional open space through the incorporation of new skylights, an acoustical plaster ceiling, a steel entrance façade and line lighting.

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