The making of NOORD
Three years ago, Amsterdam’s only indoor skate park closed. Leaving the city’s large skateboarding community to face Amsterdam’s unpredictable weather, until the passion of a few created NOORD – a new indoor park that opened just last month, and which has already caught the attention of Lil’ Wayne and Thrasher Mag. But what did we have to do with it? Read on for all the making-of details, penned by our Art Director, Ignasi Tudela.
By Ignasi Tudela
We didn’t wait for a brief. Not because we weren’t busy on this side of the canal, but because we love what we do, where we live, and we wanted to contribute to the local skateboarding community.
So we asked ourselves, what happened to the NDSM skate park – Amsterdam’s only indoor venue that was closed down three years ago? What can we do to help bring an indoor park back to Amsterdam?
A couple emails later, there we were, involved in a dream project with skate park builder and visionary, Michael Groenewegen, and the rest of the movers and shakers in the skate community – architect Guido Schuurman from OFMAA, Sterling Projects, Eelco de Koning of Nike SB, project booster Eva de Klerk, Benny Komoala of Ben-G, Skate School Founder and Instructor, Menno Becht, and professional skateboarder, Wieger van Wageningen. Together, we successfully lobbied the city council and raised the necessary funds to build a unique indoor skate park. A facility that a city like Amsterdam deserves to have, and a place where sport and creativity could meet hand in hand.
That’s how NOORD was born. Physically constructing the park and the branding around it, was an example of creativity at its best. The park’s interior design takes inspiration from iconic skate spots around the world where the makers of the park have shred. When approaching the branding, we wanted to celebrate the heritage of Amsterdam North and the previous indoor park, a one-of-a-kind hanging skate park that wrote history in this country. So we raised a glass to its past location in the NDSM, and took inspiration from the letters that crown the old skatepark building, igniting a new brand with a story for everyone to tell.
Building up to the park’s opening, we created ‘GO NOORD’, an online film designed to create heat around the launch. In depicting a journey from the south of Amsterdam to the new park in the North from a skateboarder’s point of view. The film worked to let people know where the fun is at, where skateboarders can find a home and safe space that allows them to be active and meet like-minded people.
Launch day arrived, and we extended the invitation to the whole Nike SB Global team. A demo of epic proportions ensued and wrote the first lines of a new age for skateboarding in Amsterdam.