THE AJAX EXPERIENCE by Sid Lee Montreal for AFC Ajax

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THE AJAX EXPERIENCE

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Industry Sports Teams & Events
Media Design & Branding
Market Canada
Agency Sid Lee Montreal
Released July 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Spaces
Advertiser: AFC AJAX N.V. NETHERLANDS
Product/Service: THE AJAX EXPERIENCE
Agency: SID LEE ARCHITECTURE
Architecture Team: (Sid Lee Architecture)
Branding/Graphic Design: (Sid Lee)
Interactive/Museum/Multimedia: (gsmprjct)
Video Production: (Jimmy Lee.tv)
Builders/Professional Construction Studio: (Fiction Factory)
Photos: Ewout Huibers
Lighting: (Lightemotion)
Media placement: N/A - N/A - N/A

Describe the brief from the client
Ajax has been around for more than 100 years. And they are more than just a championship football team with innumerable fans. They are known for training some of the best athletes in the world. Ajax has a stadium outside the city of Amsterdam so only fans at the actual games had a place to worship their team. The brief was to bring that place of worship into the city and create a new connection between the city and Ajax so everyone could pay homage to their favorite team.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Ajax players are very highly regarded by their fans. They are giants in the sports world. How do you build a giant? That was both the challenge and the key objective for this project. The players were represented as giants on the wall of fame with huge cutouts. The more structural challenge was to create a space that seemed literally carved out of the city, to represent that special relationship between the city of Amsterdam and the team. From the street level, pedestrians can get a glimpse inside the museum fuelling the notion that it’s built from the city itself.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
The centerpiece of the Ajax experience is a stadium. As visitors continue to tour the museum, they get glimpses of the stadium’s architectural language. The experience, however, is a representation of the chronological experience of a player heading out into the pitch. The experience takes a visitor through seven steps combining history, education, training field and finally the locker room and the pitch before heading into the stadium. By following this method, visitors can fully live the development process of an athlete.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Soon after its introduction, the Ajax Experience surpassed expectations in press coverage. The project caught the attention of a variety of fields ranging from leisure, design and architecture to tourism.

The Ajax Experience’s capacity to embed stories allowed the project to receive numerous local prizes, such as the 2011 Grands Prix du Design competition. Its introduction was mentioned in various magazines and websites including Bob, FRAME magazine (website), Trend Hunter and About:Blank.