Former Evangelical Lutheran Church

2021 - present
Amsterdam | Netherlands
design development

Situated on Kloveniersburgwal 50 in the historic centre of Amsterdam the Restored Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1793 but is currently known as Compagnie Theater. This former church has been serving different secular functions for more than a hundred years. After the last liturgical congregation left in the 1950's De Nederlandse Bank converted the building into an archive repository. An unfortunate and less dignified function for such a stately building. In 1995, after a period of vacancy, the new owner Amerborgh enlisted Francine Houben to convert the church into the Compagnie Theater. By 2019 the theater has closed its doors for good and the vacant building will be transformed into a vibrant office.

Allard Architecture have been tasked with restoring the lightness and transparency of the original church into the new office environment. The uni-directional column lined former church hall remains the atmosphere-defining aspect of the space. Ideally the scale and openness of the church hall can be brought back and enhanced by allowing daylight back in through the central skylight. The historic midship in its commanding presence becomes the centre of attention again. The new floors will be added as a self-standing enlarged piece of furniture that stands loose from any existing structure, keeping the integrity of the authentic space alive while referencing the self-standing organ there once was. Additionally, a colour study was carried out by Josefien & Co to determine the original colour scheme, revealing that the original columns, windows and frames had an ochre-yellow colour. That same ochre-yellow will be brought back as a defining colour in the new design and help in delineating the layering of old and new elements.

The original church was built in the well-known style of Dutch Classicism. In line with the ideology of the Lutheran community the interior had no overly rich decoration. In the presentation below you will also find images of the building's interior stripped to the bone. Even the sparse decorations including the cornices around the central church hall were largely removed. This will be reversed and the cornices that are essential elements in establishing the presence of the historic church hall and will be reinstated.

Project Partners

Allard Meine Jansen
Andreas Baumer
Piet de Reuver
Robbe Vandewyngaerde
Paul Walther
Hylkema Erfgoed