About the project
The neo-Renaissance Droogbak building was designed in 1884 as headquarters for the Hollandse IJzeren Spoorweg Maatschappij (Dutch Iron Railway Company). Over time, the building has had several users, and already underwent an extensive restoration twenty years ago. The current transformation aims to respectfully adapt the building to meet the needs of the contemporary work environment; not only through physical interventions – for example by modernizing the internal climate and acoustics – but above all by enabling a new way of working, in which informal encounters and social interaction take center stage. The transformation is characterized by delicate but impactful interventions; original elements have been preserved and made visible wherever possible, while spatial and visual connections within the building have been improved and expanded.
Fokkema & Partners drew on this in their interior design for law firm Clifford Chance. Focal point was to create a future-proof monument that enables a new way of working.
During the previous restoration, the central courtyard had been covered and converted into a library. KCAP reactivated this space: the bright, glass-covered atrium has been given a new life as a dynamic and animated place for meeting, interaction and exchange, and serves as a crucial node in the building’s new routing.
Additional staircases provide access to the upper floors and the restaurant in the basement, while bay windows and balconies reinforce the visual relationships between floors and with the atrium – a place to see and be seen. The atrium is the heart of Droogbak and serves as the ‘starting point’ of the transformation concept, both literally and figuratively. It offers a new dynamic and a new way of working, with respect for the historical architecture.