The former Diamond Exchange, Capital C Amsterdam in the Netherlands has been awarded a WAN Award 2020 in the category 'Mixed Use'. The Dutch monument underwent a major renovation based on a design by the architectural office ZJA in collaboration with Heyligers design + projects and has regained its original allure. The WAN Award, an international architecture prize, is presented annually by World Architecture News and is regarded as a leading recognition in architecture.
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 a centre of the diamond trade.
In Capital C, an old monument is given new life, especially by enriching it with a unique mix of contemporary functions. In ZJA's design for the Diamond Exchange as Capital C, the starting point was that it would be a building where collaboration, meeting and exchange would be the central theme. This function of meeting place brings together a wide range of disciplines: advertising, design, media, digital design, photography and art. That is why there are not only different types of offices and meeting rooms, but also a pop-up gallery in the monumental hall, a café and restaurant. Moreover, the building had to be optimally designed for the presence of art and design. Not only did this require exhibition spaces, but it is mainly about twenty commissions to artists and designers that are an integral part of the design.
A meeting place for Amsterdam
Until the mid-20th century, the Diamond Exchange was the lively center of the international diamond trade. The exchange hall of the Diamond Exchange was a meeting place for people and markets, goods and ideas. The building housed meeting rooms, offices, a restaurant, a safe and even a barber shop. The building's central function was lost, but as Capital C, the building again presents itself as a meeting place for the city with different kinds of new public spaces. The Diamond Exchange is no longer a closed office building, but a city-oriented center and again an essential part of Amsterdam.
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).