May 2011 | After opening an ‘Airport Library’ and a ‘Holland Boulevard’ to give travellers in transit at the airport a taste of Dutch culture, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has just opened another ‘airport experience’, this time a 200 square meter (2,100 sq ft) ‘Airport Park’.
Relax before the flight
The airport park is located at Schiphol’s D-pier and replaces a former waiting area. With the park Schiphol aims to create an environment where people can stay in a pleasant and green surroundings to relax, eat and drink before they fly. Greenery, both real and fake, sets the tone at the park and travellers can relax under half a dozen artificial trees in various seating areas, ranging from designer furniture to tree-stump seats, wooden picnic benches and circular benches with foilage in the middle. A 130-year-old tree serves as a signpost for the park. There is also an outdoor terrace where passengers can sit at wooden picnic tables with views on the aircrafts parked at the gates.
The feeling of being in a park is also brought alive through what Schiphol calls ‘mixed reality’ technology: images of famous parks all over the world are displayed on the walls, virtual butterflies surround people when they sit on certain places on the park, while ‘soundcapes’ of animals, bicycle bells and playing children add another ‘real’ touch.
Park Café, DIY-charging
Visitors to the park can also enjoy fair trade coffee, fresh juices, hamburgers on organic buns at a Park Café, while various kiosks sell magazines, newspapers, flowers and souvenirs. Food and beverages can be taken outside to the terrace or enjoyed in the park, and – just like in other areas at Schiphol – free WiFi is available for 1 hour.
The park features a variety of sustainable applications. Travellers can recharge their mobile phones pedalling one of three bicycles to generate energy. LED lighting is used wherever possible and daylight enters the park through tube lighting and fibre optics cables.
Singapore Changi airport garden
As airlinetrends.com commented on MSNBC, the park at Schiphol is a good example of how airports around the world are increasingly upgrading the airport experience in order to become a preferred hub for travellers.
On a similar ‘green’ note, Singapore Changi Airport in 2008 opened a new eco terminal (T3) to cultivate its reputation as a ‘garden city’. Changi T3 boasts a striking five-storey high green wall of hanging plants as well as several gardens, including a butterfly garden with lush greenery and an indoor waterfall.
Back to nature at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (MSNBC.com)
Schiphol Airport’s ‘Holland Boulevard’ gives transit passengers a taste of all things Dutch
San Francisco Airport’s new Terminal 2 goes eco-chic
German airports use honey bees to ‘bio-monitor’ air quality