Text description provided by the architects. Hollandse Nieuwe was asked by APF International to draw up a plan to renovate the listed building on the Nieuwe Herengracht 103 and make it suitable for rental purposes. The double canal house was built around 1685. In 1751, it was radically altered and given its current rococo façade and interior. In the 19th century, some small changes were made. In 1909, a ballroom with a stage was built at the rear. The stage is located in the rear of Nieuwe Herengracht 105 (which has since become part of Nieuwe Herengracht 103). Parts of this 17th- or 18th-century rear house were preserved. During the period 1921-1984, the building was used as a convent, together with several neighboring buildings.
During this period, little was changed to the building. After the nuns sold the building, it was thoroughly restored. Many of the original elements were well preserved and only required restoration. Only the upper floors and the basement had a thorough transformation. The basement, formerly a divided dark space, has been transformed into an open and light meeting space with a large kitchen and access to the garden.
Walls have been removed and the old tiles (witjes) that were hidden behind the paneling have been restored and supplemented, creating an interesting mix of old and new. The upper floors have also been opened up and an extra staircase has been added to improve access. Due to the listed status of much of the interior, the new finishes had to be carefully chosen and presented. The original marble finish in the entrance hall that was hidden underneath the carpet was cleaned and restored.
The main staircase was painted in a modern variant of the original darkened wood imitation after extensive colour research. The existing wood floors were lightly sanded, repaired, and re-varnished. The other rooms, except for the basement were fitted out with a similar wooden herringbone floor. In order to do justice to the listed ornaments, architraves, and surface divisions, different shades of grey and white were used.
The shades of grey refer to the period when the nuns were the residents of the building and they painted everything grey. In order to enlarge the contrast between old and new, the new elements, such as the glass partitions and the kitchen, have a modern design and are finished in matt black.