An iconic 19th-century building next to Amsterdam Central Station, Droogbak has been transformed into a 21st-century office space for the law firm Clifford Chance. The design was undertaken by KCAP as architects with interiors by Fokkema & Partners.
The focal point was to create a future-proof monument that enables a new way of working.
The renovation aims to modernize the iconic building’s internal climate and acoustics but above all, enable a new way of working, providing spaces for informal encounters and social interaction.
The delicate but impactful interventions undertaken retain original elements and make them visible where possible. Spatial and visual connections within the building have been improved and expanded
For example, a space previously covered and converted into a library from the courtyard was reactivated by KCAP into a bright, glass-covered atrium that serves as a dynamic and animated place for meeting and interacting.
The space also serves as a new node and hub for the building’s circulation.
New staircases provide access to upper floors and a restaurant at the basement level while bay windows and balconies reinforced the visual relationship between the atrium and the remainder of the building.
A sculptural spiral staircase made of anodized aluminium is an eye-catching feature element of the atrium. Allowing for informal encounters, it connects a series of mini-hubs equipped with glass skyboxes that overlook the atrium.
The interior design by Fokkema & Partners offers a playful interpretation of the building’s historical features. Architectural elements in the atrium loosely refer to the neo-Renaissance interior façade with pronounced planes in colour, period rooms with their original details converted to modern offices, and planes in a historical ochre tone marking new corridors in richly ornamented hallways.
The original wooden rafters are left free of partitioning, with spaces organized into different ‘home zones.’