The ‘castle’ Bolensteijn was built round 1340 from locally-made bricks. The thick cellar walls have been standing in the moat for centuries, reminiscent of a small fortress. The basic medieval form is still standing, though successive occupants have all applied their personal architectural tastes to it.
The current owner restored the building radically and respectfully at the start of the 21st century.
Published in OBJEKT©International issue 77 & USA | Canada issue 6.
Dreaming of a Castle
He had been looking for a mansion of this type for some time before he bought the Bolensteijn estate in 1999. Today he says concerning the purchase and restoration of Bolenstein:
“It was my childhood dream to renovate a castle one day. And then this one came along.
I bought it and embarked on the radical restoration. It took me almost five years, gardens included. Living in a mansion-like castle is very pleasant. Of course, it takes considerable maintenance, but with good planning, everything it works out well.”
The salon on the side of the Vecht river. Over the years it has been refurbished several times in keeping with the prevailing style.
The basis for house’s present layout was established in the mid-1900’s by the architect B.O. van den Berg, the new owner, who energetically set to work refurbishing the premises. The first and second floors and the attic were designed as living accommodation; the basements were to house his studio. He added modern comfort to the house. He was also the one who purchased the tumble-down teahouse belonging to the Doornburgh country estate on the other side of the Vecht and gave the gardens a make-over.
In 1999 the radical restoration got going, initiated by the present owner and supervised by De Kat & Vis architecture practice from The Hague. The architect Kees van der Valk was responsible for the design of the gardens and the interior. The existing brickwork on the exterior was retained, except at the Vecht façade, which was rendered, as it had been in 1829, in order to do justice to the balcony. On the roof a high ledge was added to the cornice as a decoration, concealing the original roof. At the same time, the belfry was restored to its former splendor.
PHOTOGRAPHY HANS FONK & KEES HAGEMAN