The Diamond Exchange in Amsterdam, now known as Capital C Amsterdam, a design by architectural studio ZJA in collaboration with Heyligers Architects, has won an Architecture & Design Collection (ADC) Award 2023.
The project won Gold in the ‘Renovation and Restoration’ category. Reborn as Capital C Amsterdam, this former Diamond Exchange in Amsterdam stands as a meaningful and vibrant addition to the city—a new centre for the creative industry housed in a sparkling monument that elegantly merges past and present.
Erik Smits, partner-architect ZJA, said, “We are honoured to receive the Architecture & Design Collection Awards 2023 for Capital C Amsterdam. It is a global acknowledgement for the design by ZJA in collaboration with Heyligers, commissioned by our clients Zadelhoff and Sijthoff Media.
“Capital C encapsulates the extremes of the design profession, harmonising advanced geometry, the expertise and skills of traditional crafts, and the ingenuity required for a modern office environment within a historical building.
“We are incredibly proud of the outcome of this adventurous design process and the inspiring and pleasant collaboration with ambitious clients, restaurateurs, designers, engineers, installers, and builders.”
When the architects of ZJA and Heyligers first entered the building, they discovered a worn-out environment, concealing the hidden beauty of the historic building behind suspended ceilings and wall facings.
The subsequent major renovation aimed to fully restore the original features lost in a fire and, due to past adaptations, revive the vision and beauty of the original 1911 building by Gerrit van Arkel.
The architects successfully added a cellar and an iconic, parametrically designed glass dome, breathing new life into this historical monument.
Challenged by the absence of preserved blueprints of the original design, the architects embarked on an exceptional quest armed with some archival drawings of the façade, measuring tape and old photos.
Merging modern techniques with traditional crafts, they carefully reconstructed the original features, including two striking towers on the roof, the original balustrade, and tympans.
The entrance to the former Incasso Bank was reinstated, and the original tile panelling above it was meticulously restored to its former glory. Additionally, windows were added in the monumental hall to introduce natural daylight and create a pleasant space.
Crowned with a startling roof structure of steel and glass named High Light, layered with solar cells, this building offers more than just breathtaking views. It generates energy and provides protection from the sun to ensure an optimal indoor climate.
The green roof serves as an eco-friendly element, acting as a rainwater buffer, fostering biodiversity, filtering air pollutants, and retaining CO2.
On the ground level, an event space and lunch area, once a parking area, now thrive. A transparent façade wraps around the building, inviting natural light and a connection with the surroundings. The addition of an inviting terrace, designed by Gabriel Lester, complements a public green zone, creating an appealing urban space in an area once dominated by traffic.
This metamorphosis signifies a shift from the building’s former mono-use office orientation to a multi-use public facility, amplifying its positive impact on the urban environment.
Capital C Amsterdam stands as a testament to sustainable design principles, harmonising functionality, aesthetics, and community engagement for a brighter, greener future. The historical building now stands visible as the architectural jewel it once was.
It sparkles like a polished diamond, enabling the former Diamond Exchange to shine once again. The perfect blend of new and old, this contemporary gem is ready for its future.
ZJA’s design for the former Diamond Exchange, now Capital C Amsterdam, has earned widespread acclaim. Notable accolades include the International Architecture Award 2022, German Design Award 2021, WAN Award 2020, and the Architecture Masterprize 2020 for both ‘Mixed Use Architecture’ and ‘Restoration & Renovation’.
The project also received the Dutch Steel Award 2020 and MIPIM Award 2020 for ‘Best Refurbished Building’. Furthermore, it has been nominated for the ArchDaily Award 2023, Rooftop Award 2019/2020, and Roof of the Year 2019, solidifying its status as an exceptional architectural achievement.
About the Architecture & Design Collection Awards
The Architecture & Design Collection Awards celebrate and honour remarkable works in the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Design, Product Design and Communication Design from around the world. It encourages designers and architects, construction workers, and engineers to share their best projects globally, inspiring the next generation.
- Client: Zadelhoff B.V. and Sijthoff Media; Architect: ZJA in collaboration with HEYLIGERS architects
- Interior designer: Müller & van Tol; Restoration architect: Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau
- Restoration Experts: Van Milt Restaurateurs
- Design engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek
- Principal contractor: DCV Bouw
- Engineer and contractor roof structure: Octatube
- Interior designer High Light: Studio Linse
- Artwork Peel Plaza: Gabriel Lester
- Manufacturer artwork Gabriel Lester: Grijsen Park & Straatdesign
- Inauguration: 2019