International award for ground noise-reducing park near Amsterdam Schiphol airport

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H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten and Royal Schiphol Group are the winners of the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award for Buitenschot Land Art Park. It is an honour for ‘making a contribution to enhancing the relationship between airports and their surrounding environments via exemplary innovation’. The award is co-sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airport Consultants Council.

Buitenschot Land Art Park is situated north of Hoofddorp and south of Schiphol’s 18R-36L runway. The park features low hills – ‘ground ridges’ – that reduce the ground noise produced by aircraft taking off, which in turn lowers the level of noise disturbance in Hoofddorp.

Reducing ground noise

The ridges in the park serve as sound barriers for ground noise. Ground noise is the low-frequency noise emitted by aircraft during take-off. Reducing ground noise was an agreement reached with the Alders Platform (which has now been absorbed in the Schiphol Community Council).

Ground ridge expansion

Thanks to the ground ridges both in Buitenschot and next to runway 18R-36L, Schiphol has reduced ground noise by 5.5 dB. Schiphol is working on initiatives to further reduce noise. For example by discouraging noisy aircrafts and through additional ground ridges that were constructed recently.

Schiphol finished building extra ridges next to runway 18R-36L in February 2017. These ridges will be planted with grass next spring.

Art

In addition to reducing noise, Buitenschot also serves a recreational function and is open to everyone. Art plays a major role in the park. The park itself is a work of (landscape) art, and artist Paul de Kort designed two works of art for the park. One is ‘Listening Ear’, which invites visitors to step inside and hear the environmental noise amplified. The other is a diamond-shaped lake where visitors can create ripple patterns on the water surface while standing on a bridge equipped with a wave-generating device.

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