Diamond Exchange, Capital C Amsterdam awarded Architecture Masterprize 2020


The Diamond Exchange, Capital C Amsterdam in the Netherlands has been awarded the Architecture Masterprize 2020, an American architecture award. The Dutch monument has won two awards, in the category 'Mixed Use Architecture' and also in the category 'Restoration & Renovation'. Designed by the architectural office ZJA in collaboration with Heyligers design + projects, the Diamond Exchange dating from 1911 has been radically renovated and largely restored to the original Gerrit van Arkel design. The Dutch monument is crowned with a striking, spatial dome of glass and steel; the High Light. Common thread running through the building are about twenty art and design projects.

Restoration and reconstruction

At the beginning of the 21st century the Diamond exchange was in a poor state. Due to a fire, several additions and various renovations, much of the original charisma was gone. It had become an inward-looking office colossus. This required a major round of restoration and reconstruction.

On the roof two striking towers, the original roof edge and the tympana from the original design by Van Arkel have been reinstated. The authentic tile panelings of the entrance were recreated based on old photos and drawings. To make it viable as a contemporary office building, all floors have been completely stripped, provided with new installations and have been functionally reorganized. This is where the offices, event spaces, meeting rooms and flexible workplaces are located now.  The biggest change is the addition of the High Light, a glass and steel dome on the roof. The faceted diamond like form of the dome is reminiscent of the monument’s history. As centre of the diamond trade.

Crowning on the roof

The dome on the roof is based on the Gridshell principle, which offers enormous freedom of design and allows large spans. Parametric design principles were employed to create a light and transparent dome, with no two components being the same. The High Light is a self-assured statement that defines the project's face yet maintains a respectful relationship with the monument. The special spatial experience of the glass dome, as a product of the latest design methods and techniques, is naturally embedded in a monument in the Amsterdam city centre.

Integration of art and design

The design for Capital C was created in collaboration with some 20 artists who incorporated artworks and design additions into the building that are part of the identity of Capital C. Each of them was given a place in the building such as the entrance, hall, stairwells, but also various meeting rooms, the terrace and even the parking garage. A pop-up gallery is located in the central hall with space for exhibitions of Amsterdam galleries. With the integration of special art installations and design additions, each space has its own and unique identity.

Restored to its former glory

With the restoration of the Diamond Exchange and the new public space on the roof, an iconic building has been added back to the heart of Amsterdam and the national monument has once again become an important part of the city. The design for Capital C provides a contemporary revitalization of a special monumental building, so that history, public space and the dynamics of the international creative industry and art come together.

ZJA in collaboration with Heyligers design + projects (architects), Zadelhoff B.V. and Sijthoff Media (client), Müller & van Tol (interior designer), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau (restoration architect), Van Milt Restaurateurs (restoration experts): Pieters Bouwtechniek (design consultant), DCV Bouw (principal contractor), Octatube (engineer and contractor roof structure), Studio Linse (interior designer High Light), NewKantoor (contractor final phase), Peak Development (project management).

Photos: JW Kaldenbach and Capital C Amsterdam



Middelkerke presents a new casino building that creates a unique dune landscape

25.09.2020 The Nautilus consortium wins the competition to create a new architectural anchor along the Belgian coast, with a design that…

Read more

Diamond Exchange, Capital C Amsterdam wins Dutch Steel Award 2020

13.10.2020 The Diamond Exchange, Capital C Amsterdam in the Netherlands has been awarded the Dutch Steel Award 2020. The national monument…

Read more

Freedom Museum, Groesbeek

Parachute in the landscape

A new building for the Freedom Museum Although the west of the Netherlands had to endure a gruesome winter of famine, the Battle of Arnhem…

Read more