The long-time occupant of Prinsengracht 436, the Palace of Justice in central Amsterdam, has moved to a new location. The former orphanage dating from the 1660s is planned to be converted into a glorious hotel.
Over the past 350 years the property has seen many transformations from being an orphanage, an emergency hospital, city library and finally the National Court of Justice in 1836. It has been adapted over the centuries with a fluid building style.
Classicism has provided the main influence on the building by architect Jan de Greef. The exceptionally long façade is given definition by its substantial top balustrade as well as Corinthian pillars rising up from the basement level.
When conceptualizing the property’s next transformation, instead of looking at the individual elements and decorations found in the building, we looked at the urban adaptations. As the requirement for the hotel alteration came from the city, not from the existing building or user, our approach was to extend the building from an urban point of view. WEIJENBERG’s additions and alterations were created out of malleable material such as wood. The result is a volume that suggests density and future growth that we believe should allow a glimpse of the future.