Canalside mansion makeover

Spread Magazine Residence Wouter Deelman
Spread of Magazine Residence

When heritage meets the future of living

We oftentimes are involved in unique and precious projects. One of these, a full make-over of a canal-side mansion, was featured in the Dutch glossy magazine Residence in early 2019.
Wouter Deelman, former founder and CEO of international tech company Qelp, transformed a canalside monument that contained four independent condominiums back into one majestic mansion. The building, that barely contained original details, was stripped back to bare stone, and completely rebuilt. It brought the best of 21st century techniques for smart and sustainable living into this part of golden century heritage.

Green was key in this transformation

Back in 2016, Deelman was able to acquire this double-deep canal house. The property is a whopping 30 meters deep and comes with a garden. It had been divided into 4 separate units, though, making it feel like a labyrinth:

For the housewarming party in 2016, so before remodeling, I needed signs to indicate where the bathrooms were. Also, each unit had an entirely different vibe. I was determined to turn the property into a home with a natural flow, and to bringback the old allure.

Wouter Deelman | interview Magazine Residence

Deelman’s plans were ambitious: amalgamating the separate units into a floor plan that would make sense for a bachelor. And turning the 17th century monument into a climate neutral entity. To make all that happen, the property needed to be stripped back to bare stone. Even while the rococo style stucco in the hallway turned out to be the only remaining original, obtaining the required permits proved to be challenging.

When restructuring the mansion, all floors have been realigned. Allard Architecture designed a glass and metal staircase in the patio that now interconnects all floors. To make sure this home will continue to be accessible when Deelman ages, even an elevator was installed. The scullery now serves as the control center of this smart home. All wiring connects back to this room and all systems are directed from there. Climate control is the primary function, but dimming lights, picking music for a particular room, checking who’s at the doorsteps, it can all be done from a phone, a laptop or by switching a button. By using sensors and only heating rooms that are barely used on demand, energy is used as responsibly as possible.

Timeless, sustainable and classy

Ruud van Oosterhout, a renown Amsterdam based interior designer, was responsible for the interior design. He is known for his timeless and somewhat sober designs, and prefers sustainable materials, like marble and wood. Oosterhout picked a light-colored oak for most rooms. He replaced all marble floors, and the marble in the bathrooms with Italian Statuarietto marble, all from the same block. Van Oosterhout also designs furniture and included some of his signature pieces in the interior design. Lastly, art gives each room its unique personality. Deelman is a keen art collector. Most rooms boast impressive pieces from young, talented artists.

I’m planning to live here for a long time. I aimed to create a home that will outlast me, though. It’s ready for another hundred years at least. 

Wouter Deelman | interview Magazine Residence