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Shell campus: sustainability and renovation C30

The C30 building is a national monument of 25,000m² GLA. The original building dates back to 1916, the extensions to 1928 and 1929. Originally part of Shell's headquarters, it is now part of the Shell Campus The Hague. Between 2018 and 2022, the building was renovated and made more sustainable. An intensive process requiring a high level of ambition. Throughout the implementation process, ABT served as Architect of Record for Shell.
Client Shell
Completion time 2018-2022
Market Commercial real estate

Renovation required

In 2015, the roof of Shell’s former headquarters at 30 Carel van Bylandtlaan (C30) began losing slates. After initial repairs, it was clear that a thorough renovation was needed.


Architect of Record

Since late 2018, ABT has been working as Architect of Record (AoR) on the large-scale campus development in The Hague. The goal is to redevelop several separate buildings into a sustainable Shell campus with closely connected buildings. We do this in collaboration with fellow companies within Oosterhoff and some external partners.

The renovation of the landmark C30 building, Shell’s original headquarters, kicked off the campus development. ABT was not involved in the design process.


Dominic Volpato, Matthijs Gerds en Robert Phillipi. © Stijn Poelstra

Implementation process

In 2019, ABT was asked to take part in the implementation process. Construction work was in full swing by then. As AoR, we monitored the integral design by performing execution control for all disciplines and responding to technical and aesthetic questions. In addition, we were in the lead for all design changes during construction.


Coordinating design leader Matthijs Gerds explains what made this project challenging: “As AoR, it is up to us to align all technical disciplines, including architecture. This integrated approach is our added value. In this case, ABT became involved in the project after the Technical Design Phase. Gradually, new requirements were added. This meant that while respecting the design, we had to make fundamental changes to a project that was in full swing by then.”


Modern installations and original appearance

In the monumental rooms of the building, ABT created a balance between modern installations (ventilation, heating, sprinkler, alarm systems, electrics) and the original appearance. Together with renovation architect Polderman, we found solutions with the least visual impact, that met the client’s functional demands. For each room, we considered what was best: an exhaust duct in an existing flue, hidden speakers behind existing wall panelling, invisible vents in unused elevator doors. These solutions could be realized by our integrated approach to design and thinking outside the box.

The monumental values concern the entire exterior, the main stairwell and the historic rooms on the second floor. The interior of the building was largely stripped back. The building envelope was insulated and a large atrium canopy was added to cover one of the two courtyard gardens. A completely new building installation and office furnishings were provided.

File-to-factory construction

One of the technical and visual eye-catchers of C30 are the canopies; tree-like, wooden structures under the gridshell roof of one of the monumental courtyards. “The trees are a complete file-to-factory construction, consisting of wooden triangles,” Matthijs said. “The entire geometry, down to the data needed for CNC machining of the components, was generated via computer code in a visual programming tool. Man-made models or drawings are no longer needed. The scale of it was not seen before. This approach substantially reduced the risk of any errors. The final result was a seamless execution with every single triangle – 162 pieces in the largest canopy – fitting perfectly.”

Sustainability and contemporary work environment

In addition to sustainability – 45% energy savings and a gas-free building – the work environment has been completely updated to today’s standards. An open, contemporary, comfortable and integrally accessible office, while historic details were preserved and restored.

Leed Platinum

In May 2022, the building was returned to service. In August 2022, C30 was awarded the LEED Platinum certification, the first for a landmark building of this size.


Images: © Stijn Poelstra