Gallery Borzo

Gallery Borzo, a historic building set within Amsterdam’s canal ring, was originally a canal house and the building reopened after a period of careful reconstruction. Layers of renovation residue had disguised the building’s previous structural alternations. At the beginning of the twentieth century the structure was converted into a warehouse, and in 1932 it was remodeled into a bookstore with various routing paths. A hanging steel construction was added during this period to allow the opening up of the façade, as well as to allow more natural light into the deep and narrow space. A vertical column containing the book elevator previously spatially balanced these mostly horizontal elements. In the 1970s an art dealer bought the building, and though he left the interior intact, eventually the walls, floors, and extra spiral stairs were added over the years, making it difficult to distinguish original elements from those that were not. To uncover and integrate the original design from 1932 within the existing footprint, the building’s interior was completely stripped. By removing the 1970s modifications, the building’s original features, such as the façade, portal, level division, hanging circulation, and former book elevator, all reappeared.

Keizersgracht 516
1017 EJ Amsterdam
the Netherlands

Gallery, Renovation

535 m2

Date of design

Date of completion

Project team
Wiel Arets, Carsten Hilgendorf

Kenzo Krüger-Heyden, Andreas Frank, Kilian Nekeman

Gallery Borzo

Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV, Wetering Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV