Visiting the Amstel Tower site with artist Ian Kirkpatrick

Siobhan BurgerNews

Discovering the construction site

Ian Kirkpatrick was selected by Provast and Powerhouse Company as the artist to create an artwork for the new entrance of the Amstel Tower. As a first step in the sketch phase Arttenders introduced artist and client on the construction site.

The sketch process step 1: gaining familiarity with the site and the brief


Arttenders captured all important guidelines for the sketch design in a clear brief. In this case, the artwork for the Amstel Tower will have a reference to the historical artwork bij artist Peter Alma located in the adjacent Amstel Station. Since Ian Kirkpatrick is an artist from Canada but currently living in Leeds, he was not familiar with the site nor the works of Peter Alma. To get a good feeling with the most important components of his sketch assignment, he therefore flew in to meet his client.

On the construction site Ian introduced his work, signature and inspiration to project managers and one of the partners from Provast. He also elaborated on the different themes that are the inspiration for this work, such as infrastructure, people, urbanism, the city of Amsterdam, Peter Alma and the new building. During his research on Peter Alma, he discovered that he and Alma have a very similar design approach. They work a lot with simplified icons, combining them to tell a story. For Ian it almost felt like finding a lost relative.

The clear presentation by Ian gave Provast enough information to give him the green light to start the actual sketching phase.

Peter Alma at Museum Arnhem

Conveniently at the exact time of Ian’s visit the survey exhibition of Peter Alma in Museum Arnhem. He was part of art movement ‘De Stijl’, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Peter Alma has mainly made applied artworks, and very little documentation is publicly available. To find out more about his techniques, inspiration and signature we  visited the exhibition with Ian.

And now… we are ready for the next design phase. Designs are already coming in. We can’t spill anything yet, but we will keep you posted on the development!