Ice*Amsterdam is an annual Swedice turnkey project. For the past 17 years, we have made it our job to give visitors a fantastic ice experience. We also manage the entire operation.
Throughout history, during the long and cold winters of the Netherlands, Museum Square in Amsterdam has always frozen into a solid huge natural ice rink for several months. This historical place was already the a World Cup Skating location in 1893. Nowadays coping with climate change, the need of an alternative artificial ice rink is prevalent. Each November, the existing pond of the Museum Square transforms into a winter event with (of course) an ice rink. If it wasn’t for the of the boarding, one could easily be tricked into thinking the ice rink appeared naturally, as Swedice’s ICEFLOO technology is customized to fit seamlessly into the existing shape of the pond. The finishing touch would be the customised boarding, which exactly matches the concrete edge of the pond.
Ice*Amsterdam, together with Swedice, keeps the ancient skating tradition at the Museum Square alive!
Next to the very sharp appearance, ICEFLOO has substantial technical advantages, making it a sustainable alternative for traditional ice rink systems. Whereas traditional pipe systems provide an unequal surface where the water should be first frozen in between the pipes to ultimately build the actual skating layer, ICEFLOO has a flat, smooth, aluminium surface. Hereby, the very first drips of water already contribute to the actual ice rink. As the surface is made of aluminium, the cold temperature is very quickly and evenly distributed throughout the entire surface, resulting in a very efficient transmission. Hereby, a reduction in use of energy and emissions is established that can reach a maximum of 25%. Moreover, as these panels can also be used as solar panels, an integration with swimming pools could result in the panels being a heating source for the pool in summer, while turning into an ice rink in winter.
ICE*Amsterdam uses the revolutionary ICEFLOO system.
Together with the board of IceAmsterdam, Swedice has brought the ice rink featuring the ICEFLOO technology to the Museum Square of Amsterdam for the last eight years. Whatever the weather, skating is always possible on this unique system. IceAmsterdam has always tried to innovate and renew the experience, leading to the introduction of a replica of the city’s famous Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) to span along the ice rink. With the Rijksmuseum in the background, the bridge is always a very popular Instagram-worthy spot to make pictures. When the evening falls, the rink particularly becomes a magical place to skate on, as the fairy lights provide a cosy atmosphere.
The design and atmosphere were created in close collaboration with our partner Kinetic Creative
Throughout the season, weekly events are hosted, such as skating lessons and activities for young and old alike. From 14th to 26th December, the Museumplein ups the festivities with the Ice*Village winter fair. Here, locals and visitors can snap up original Christmas gifts, unique accessories and warm clothing, as well as sampling a wide range of food and drinks.
However, the ice rink would not be so successful and cosy if the rink was maintained badly or the skates would have dull irons. That is why Ice*Amsterdam is the perfect example to Swedice’s capabilities: we do not only install and dismantle the rink, we also maintain the rink and the skates. Each morning and each afternoon, one of our colleagues steps on the Zamboni and prepares the ice. The spots that can hardly be reached with the Zamboni are treated individually by hand afterwards. After the ice has been prepared for the guests, the skates deserve attention. Twice a week, the skates are selected on their sharpness, going systematically through the 1000 skates that have been delivered by Swedice. Due to the all-season sharpening, the skates are always razor sharp.
Swedice doesn’t only deliver and install the technology, we also maintain the 1000 skates and rink during the entire 100-day season!
The case of Ice*Amsterdam shows that Swedice is not a mere supplier of materials. The example of the unique technology, the cozy atmosphere, the Magere Brug and the service show that Swedice can and wishes to take account of the entire experience. We care for sustainable winter fun, aided by our unique materials.
ICE*Amsterdam is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Pim Pronk and Dick Keser. Pim Pronk has years of experience on and off ice rinks, and in catering and operation. He is now the proud owner of the Amstel Boat House. Dick Keser is since 2000 owner of Swedice and since 2013 chairman of ICE*Amsterdam.