former centre of the diamond trade and one of the first business centres in the city
After 1870 Amsterdam was in a period of economic boom. The diamond industry flourished due to the supply of diamonds from South Africa (the 'Cape time'). The Diamantbeurs (Diamond Exchange) was built in 1910 for the diamond trade in Amsterdam. The building was designed by Gerrit van Arkel, who was an important architect in Amsterdam.
At its peak, 150 firms were housed in the building, with a smaller exchange across the street and various diamond polishing plants on Nieuwe Achtergracht. Weesperplein was the heart of the diamond industry.
Hotspot for the creative industry
In recent years the building has been fully restored to its former glory. It will open in September 2019 to become a new centre for Dutch Design and Dutch art. A large glass dome on the roof was added. It will be used for fashion shows, congresses and presentations.
In Amsterdam, 80,000 people work in the creative industry, from fashion designers to filmmakers, from advertising agencies to artists.