Colorful Characteristic

Sometimes one work leads to another. In the old Montessori school on Zaaiersweg in Betondorp (Amsterdam), where Johan Cruijff kicked his first ball in the schoolyard, we first converted two former classrooms one above the other into a characteristic single-family home and then the former gymnasium into a four-room apartment.


The renovation of the old gymnasium was commissioned by architect Jan van Erven Dorens. The result in three words: sleek, colorful and split-level. The entrance to the house and the backyard are just under a meter higher than the former gym itself. When you enter the house, you walk down four steps. Towards the backyard the same steps go up again. The stairs are made of wood, which has retained its natural color and appearance.

Center spot

When we started the renovation, the gym was still an old gym. The stripes were still on the marmoleum floor. The center dot has been cut out as a keepsake. We stripped the space completely and then built the house in it. We have installed new interior walls and stairs, of course the large glass rear facade, applied new insulation and realized new stucco. Nothing reminds of the gym that once was.

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The house is practically divided. From the entrance (and the stairs down) we have built a corridor that provides access through doors on the left and right to the storage room, all three bedrooms (one upstairs), the toilet and the (both) bathrooms (one upstairs). ). Halfway through the corridor, a five-meter high sliding door with blue Plexiglas has been made.

Little bird

Specific elements, such as the windows at the entrance and the hallway at the front of the apartment, ensure that the characteristic 1930s look of the house has been preserved. The hallway leads directly into the garden-oriented living room with open kitchen. The interior is very colorful and designed according to the color architect's guidelines.

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