Theater Instituut

Adres: Herengracht 166-172, Amsterdam
Bouwjaar: 1683
Architect: Philip Vingboons (nr. 168)
Hendrick de Keyser (nr. 172)
Restauratie architect: Architectenbureau J. van Stigt
Opdrachtgever: Theaterinstituut Nederland
Bouwbedrijf:  Schakel en Schrale 
Bouwsom:  €2.050.000,-
Start bouw: 1995
Jaar van oplevering: 1997




The Theater Institute (TIN) has been housed in nr 168 on the Herengracht since 1960. This building stands in a row of five completely different canal houses, nrs. 166-174, that date from 1638 to 1740, among which the famous Bartholotti-house.
Through the years several institutions dealing with the theatre world have joined the museum, until the 5 houses were filled with the Theatre Institute Netherlands.

In the early ‘90’s it became clear that some of the functions of the Institute had to be better interconnected, which made a renovation necessary.

Bartholotti house

The Bartholotti house was built in the Mannerism style, which was customary at the time, characterized by a loose interpretation of the classic forms. Houses were mainly built in a quite thin brick. To compensate the lack of depth the red brick was alternated with stone elements, creating a lively image. Doric and Ionic pilasters enrich this image.

Around 1740 the widow Dix, head resident, orders a radical redecoration of the interior in a Louis XIV style. The hallway is since then said to be the most beautiful in Amsterdam. The staircase is decorated by sculptor Jan Ignatiuszoon with magnificent ornaments.

The house on nr. 168, the so-called White House was built in 1637 for alderman Michiel Pauw, one of the founders of the West-Indies Company and founder of the settlement on the Hudson river in New York. It is the first in Amsterdam executed design of Philip Vingboons, one of the most important architect for our capital in the Golden Age. He designed for this building the first neck gable. The building is in the so-called Dutch Classicism style.

 The plan

The task was complicated; the 70 employees and the library had to function  normally during construction, a lot of facilities had to be added (among which an auditorium), the institute had to become more open and accessible, but also better secured, and there were only limited funds available (€ 545 /m²).


It was also important to optimize and show the limitations of this top monument; a lot had been hidden through the years. The many differences in height were turned into connections instead of separations.  An elevator was added, modern data, phones and security installations, and a ventilation system was installed in a sober way.

attention was given to the routing; reception and restaurant in the style chambers, combined with the museum round (houses nrs 166/168) and the library (168-170). In the cap of 168 two layers were combined to form a spacious auditorium with a balcony, as was the way in several ‘hidden churches’.

The work spaces were realized in the upper layers and in nr 174.

Tasks like these demand great creativity and flexibility of the management and the employees, and taught us the importance of making the organization leading, next to the architectural request package, of course still with respect for the building. The essence was; the TIN belongs in the heart of the city.

In 2009 the Theatre Institute moved to the Sarphatistraat, with which unfortunately the public function of these magnificent buildings on the Herengracht was lost.

In 2013 the TIN as an Institute was dissolved, because of budget cuts. It is the intention to put the  University of Amsterdam in charge of the control over the collection and maintain its accessibility.


On the map