Pictures convey information powerfully and the above photographs and diagrams demonstrate the beauty and creativity of this park which now borders Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport. The first drawing hints at what this greensward’s primary purpose is.
The benefits created by triangular moats, which abut the runways, are the results of an 18th century scientist “who experimented with sound waves by placing sand or salt on a metal tray, running a violin bow across to make it vibrate, and then looking at the patterns that resulted.” Landscape artist Paul de Kort and H.N.S. Landscape Architects used that principle to create a greensward which also absorbed and buffered the noise.
The airport park is composed of 150 berms, each about 10-feet high and 36-feet wide, surrounded by small furrows. Inside the ridges, visitors can walk through maze-like paths or have picnics in outdoor “rooms” surrounded by the walls of the ridges. The noise maze includes couple of smaller sound-inspired art pieces. When crossing a bridge over a small diamond-shaped pool, visitors can activate waves inside the water. “These waves are similar to sound waves,” de Kort says. “They reflect the ends of the pond, and you get these patterns similar to the patterns of the ridges in the park.” In two other corners of the park, visitors can stand inside a dish that amplifies sound. In one spot, they can listen to the runway, while the other amplifies the sounds of birds in the open space.
Sounds like a great model for US airports to replicate—creating noise insulation and a pleasant park should make airports good neighbors to the local denizens. Such a double benefit should be AIP eligible!
If an airport implements this delightful pattern of triangular berms, it might attract passengers to fly to it and to not hear aviation noise.