Alrik Koudenburg

I am a Creative Director from Amsterdam, currently based in San Francisco. People drive me. I architect meaningful interactions through creative strategy and design. I’m interested in complex and interdisciplinary challenges that require me to wear different hats and perform a variety of skills. Ranging from a 360º experience, starting up a startup, creating a brand or a product, to the revamp of a school, an innovative workplace, or the re-design of a business district. Building new kinds of ecosystems is what fuels me.I believe that every project starts with actually understanding the essence of a brand, organisation or challenge – and then through collaboration find ways that touch and inspire people. I’m very fortunate to have been able to work with many talented and brave clients who have helped challenge me to stay on top of my game. If you’d like to team up, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Nike AF1 Studio+

This temporary pop-up space in Amsterdam was created in honor of a masterpiece, the AF1 sneaker.
Celebrating the 25th birthday of this legendary basket ball shoe that has dominated the hiphop culture ever since it was introduced in 1982. Being responsible for the concept /design direction I wanted to create a mix of retail meets gallery meets hospitality & creative office.
Besides a Nike-iD design lounge, a documentary about the history of the iconic AF1 shoe, it features a hall-of-fame displaying private collections and limited editions and a craftsmanship area to show how an exclusive pair of AF1's are made out of Anaconda or Crocodile leather with gold detailing. After a celebration party, the doors opened to the public. The industrial loft space was open for 3 weeks only - having special guests Snoop Dogg, P-Diddy and many Dutch influencers come by to pick up their self-customized AF1 sneakers. 

Made in a team at ...,staat amsterdam.
A unique pop-up space to celebrate the AF1’s 25th birthday in style.

American School of The Hague+

Complete redesigned of the entrance & hospitality area, connecting it to hallways and classrooms, creating a showcase of what the school has to offer by opening up the Library, adding offices of Admissions / Transportation / External Relations / & IT Service desk. As well as upgrading security (& hiding it to the minimum) – adding a host instead of a guard.

ASH is an American-curriculum school that serves approximately 1200 students, from Pre-School to grade 12.
The project started small with the need for a new reception – but soon we identified with the ASH team the need to conduct a major overhaul of the campus entrance. ASH needed a new and powerful image to commensurate with their reputation in The Netherlands. All other aspects of the school (e.g. sustainability, curriculum, personnel, food service, etc.) are of the highest excellence, and therefore we needed similarly transform the first impression of visitors to their campus from ‘a drab and uninspiring façade’ (as ASH called it) – into a vibrant and exciting gateway to the formidable learning taking place in the classrooms, in the theater, music classes or sport facilities. ASH serves a multinational population from over 75 countries. Children of the diplomatic- / int business- / or the local Dutch community, who all seek a high end US style education.

For this project I teamed up with architect Marijn Mees / technical expert Remco Wieringa / designer Koert Broekman.
Redesign of campus entrance / facade & lobby

JWT Amsterdam+

A young & open office-interior housed on a 1850 sqm floor in a historic building in the heart of Amsterdam. The interior needed to reflects JWT Amsterdam’s motto: Seriously surprising. During the creative process, the agency went from 14 to 3 agile departments: THINK / DO / MAKE (+ JWT International). Relocating to the city-center and having a fresh & inspiring office interior gave JWT Amsterdam a more expressive and daring identity (within 1 year the average age went down from 40 to ±30 years). A central cafe with its own chef was introduced to complete a welcome hangout-work-space for the staff, employees, guests & clients. The leadership team taking a brave new course, a new home & change in culture, combined with fresh new work >> resulted in JWT attracting new, younger, more innovative, international lifestyle brands.

For this project I teamed up with artist-/designer RJW Elsinga.
Great project to revamp & rejuvenate JWT Amsterdam, part of one of the worlds oldest (1864), and biggest ad firms.

Nothing Cardboard Office+

The briefing was simple: create an office that underscored the agency’s mission >> “Creating something out of nothing”.
While at the same time generating the amount of PR every agency start-up longs for.
All credits go to the founders Michael Jansen & Bas Korsten, both highly recognized and awarded creatives – because they dared to go for it. This office went on te receive international attention in design magazines and blogs around the world.

Michael Jansen: “Often design looks great in a magazine, it’s likely to be less that impressive in daily use. This office is definitely an exception. The convivial atmosphere and acoustic qualities this office provided, was an unexpected bonus for us. We never for a minute regretted our 9-5 home. The concept, design and execution for the now world renown cardboard office, was a perfect example of how being ‘on brief’ can still be a complete surprise.” 

For this project I teamed up with artist-/designer Joost van Bleiswijk.
‘Creating everything from nothing’ brought to life, with an interior that feels like a sketchbook / architectural mockup

PICNIC Festival+

PICNIC is a leading European platform for innovation and creativity. During the annual festival PICNIC brings people together from diverse backgrounds who like to exchange insights and are keen to expose themselves to ideas outside their own area of expertise. During three intensive days we mix creativity, science, technology, media and business to explore new solutions in the spirit of co-creation.
My assignment: create the physical space with the aim to create an experience visitors would never ever forget.
We collaborated on several productions: PICNIC Festival 2010 & the ‘Amsterdam PICNIC @ WCIT’ (one of the world’s most prestigious IT events). In 2011, I teamed up again with PICNIC & Marcel Kampman, their creative director – to transformed a part of the port of Amsterdam into a temporary city. We translated the festival’s theme ‘Urban Futures’ into a physical manifestation of it as a pop-up city. By making the theme tangible as an experience for solutions at the intersection of business, public and social worlds, we help catalyze breakthrough solutions to the world’s societal challenges. — Call me anytime for projects with an ambition like that. Just great.

For this project I teamed up with Marcel Kampman
Briefing: Create an experience visitors would never ever forget

Heineken HQ bar+

The assignment started small with the request to leave a strong trademark impression at street level of the headquarters of one of the worlds largest beer breweries. In the development of a brand-manifesto Heineken states that ‘life rewards people who go beyond what they know’. We did just that.

First of all by showing Heineken's complete family of brands in a unique display unit, with different seating areas around it. We used a special type of glass film to create more mystique, with a green pulsating light behind it (which feels like a heartbeat). The main eye catchers is the refrigerated illuminated pharmacy-like cabinet. Where approximately 125 brands are made available for consumption. Each of them has it's one separate cooling drawer.
The cabinet is placed behind a complete white Corian bar in a traditional 'brown cafe' environment - combining the brand's heritage with its future. It is the focal point of the entire lobby. We ended up creating the entire entrance area, adding a mix of seating & work areas. We teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy, because we wanted to tell the Heineken story in a unique brand-manifesto in the main lobby. Uptill today it’s the favourite hangout for Heineken HQ employees and their visitors. ‘Cheers Heineken’

Made in a team at ...,staat amsterdam.
Displaying Heineken's complete family of brands, leaving a strong trademark impression.

Office Hospitality Area+

The assignment: creating a masterplan for a complete overhaul of a newly created entrance area of a multinational who moved in 1 year before. It felt too formal / corporate, with a un-inspiring canteen. We’ve created a masterplan for a spatial experience on multiple levels, from a the food experience – to offering a home-like setting with informal work place functionalities & mix of seating opportunities. Adding breakfast to the lunch menu, as well as afternoon treats. Serving quality cup coffee. From pleasant lighting – all the way to the right background music.
I find projects like this particularly interesting because you can really help the team internally (which created the initial design) understand what is needed to create some dramatic appeal and warmth, making it feel less corporate. It was a challenging project to create a space which we believe should be the physical manifestation of the brand, displaying it’s values in an artistic and intelligent way. It sure helped to work directly with the CEO. It’s essential for a multinational to challenge the leading professionals interacting with the brand. Educate, as well as inspire – creating some mystery and intrigue. These are people that like to fill in the blanks themselves, rather then having everything spelled out for them, to be made to think. The goals is to keep all involved & stimulate a close connection to the consumer that uses the end products. — I think we succeeded only partly in these objectives. Nevertheless proud of the result, given the many restrictions…including not mentioning the firm’s name.

For this project I teamed up Koert Broekman / RJW Elsinga
Transforming a corporate environment to stimulate inspiring interactions.

Boomtent (Tree tent)+

A personal project born out of my desire to relive some of my greatest childhood memories. For me, a tree-house is a poetic space of small dimensions, easily blending into the natural world.
The Tree Tent affords all the luxuries of camping, without the pitfalls of wet earth and the perils of animals foraging for food. It’s ideal for collecting your thoughts away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, or for just staring at the sky, feeling like the king of the world. The Tree Tent is dark green to provide camouflage in typical (Dutch)foliage.

How it works: Toss a weighted tow-line over your branch of choice, raise the simple triangular tent construction of reinforced aluminium and waxed nylon, climb the attached rope-ladder, tie the support lines to the trunk and branch and there you have it, an instant tree fort. Enjoy.
Go climb a tree, swing from the branches. Feel like Tarzan.


Make work feel like play. The challenge of Fabrique – create the first office outside of Delft, their home town, with a tight budget / deadline. >>> My objective – facilitating Fabrique’s creative process, strengthen their internal (work) cultural, make them feel like one of the international firms in Amsterdam, since projects started to be outside of their Branding / Print / Interactive work, moving into challenging questions and complex problems in various fields in-/ and outside of the creative disciplines.
We took out all the walls at ground level of a 1884 warehouse on the IJ-river, and focussed most of our efforts (and budget) – into creating a floating pavilion.
The intention to do this was to create a strong focal point in the space to be used as a board room / podium for creative gatherings. The advantage was other details of the space, like re-using desks didn’t got noticed that much. We stripped the floor and sanded the concrete underneath, added wood planking on the walls and created some custom-designed communal tables. From sketch, demolition to execution: 2 months.

For this project I teamed up with: Fiction Factory (one of my favorite building companies)
A space designed to facilitate Fabrique’s creative process

Frozz Friendly Food+

In 2010 I teamed up with 2 partners to start Frozz. With our nutricious friendly food company, we first introduced Frozen Yogurt in the Netherlands, a fresh, healthy & 100% organic version (— among other mini meal concepts). As founder I was creatively responsible for the concept & overall brand experience. Now we have a great team, managing about ±15 stores in 2015 throughout the country (some franchise) / 1 pilot in Lisbon, Portugal / and a wholesale product at +1000 salespoints (incl KLM/ Shell/ Sodexo/ AH/ DeBijenkorf). >> More friendly food concepts will follow (like the Oodlz Noodles Bar) ‘Go Frozz go’.

For this project I teamed up with various creative partners, like graphic designer Jeroen de Boorder.
Frozz – Fresh Frozen Yoghurt, that’s it

What others say

Not all who wander are lost
Alrik Koudenburg
Amsterdam, NL
+31 6 10537256
current location
San Francisco, US
+1 (415) 722 5933