Landscape artist Paul de Kort teamed up with H+N+S Landscape Architects to design an 80-acre diamond-shaped green space right next to the runways of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Named Buitenschot Land Art Park, the space aims to deflect ground noise coming from one of the busiest airports in the world and protect the surrounding communities from noise pollution.
With more than 1,600 daily flights going in and out of Schiphol Airport, the area is not only busy but also very loud, making life difficult for the people living in the surrounding neighborhoods. For this reason, officials decided to redesign the land surrounding the airport and create something that would drown out as much of the noise as possible while still having an aesthetic appeal.
They invited artist Paul de Kort and H+N+S Landscape Architects to design a proposal which ended up becoming a maze-like park inspired by 17th-century Chladni patterns, which have proved to have useful acoustic characteristics that include dampening sound. The pattern is named after German physicist and musician Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni, who was known as the “father of acoustics”. He discovered that certain patterns are created when a plate or membrane covered with sand vibrates at specific resonance and the vibrations cause the sand to move and concentrate along the lines where the vibrating surface meets the still area.
De Kort used GPS to plow 150 straight and symmetrical furrows with six foot high ridges between them, creating a pattern that has reduced the levels of ambient noise in half. Thirty five noise monitoring points were established around the area and first successfully tested in 2014.
Photos by Paul de Kort