At Schiphol Airport’s Joint Inspection Center (JIC), enforcement staff and inspection services work closely together in inspecting air cargo quickly, safely and efficiently. Since the building is government property, a statutory regulation provided that a portion of the budget for the JIC must be allocated towards art. Heras developed an artistic fence in association with artist Hansje van Halem, Schiphol, Customs and the Government Property Company.
“Heras developed a unique fence made from perforated steel plates”.
Schiphol SmartGate Cargo is the joint programme of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst/Douane), Air Cargo Netherlands, KLM Cargo and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to manage cargo flows at the airport more efficiently and securely. The result of their efforts is the Joint Inspection Center, which opened at Schiphol in November 2016. The building is home to Customs, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Authority, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection, who work closely together on performing air cargo inspections more quickly, safely and efficiently.
Government regulation creates exciting challenge
Under Dutch government policy, when taking on construction projects involving a budget of more than 1 million Euros, the government is required to spend around 1% on a visual art commission. The Joint Inspection Center is the property of the Government Property Company, which manages the government property portfolio, and was therefore eligible for this regulation. Frank Diepstraten, Schiphol Real Estate Development Manager: “We contacted artist Hansje van Halem with the request to design a special artwork. She came up with the idea of incorporating the letters ‘SMARTGATE’ into the fences around the new building. That’s why we enlisted the help of Heras to manage this unique art project.”
Artwork calls for unique periphery
Heras investigated the technical possibilities of engraving the letters into the fence. This turned out to be quite a challenge, as Schiphol has strict requirements when it comes to standard perimeter protection. Heras Project Manager Alex de Vries: “The fences around the perimeter should deter people from climbing over them or otherwise accessing the site. We have agreed a number of rules with Schiphol, which cannot be changed just like that. There is also a car park located right next to the Joint Inspection Center. In order to prevent people from climbing over the fence via the roof of a vehicle, the fence needed to be higher than the standard 2.70 metres. In developing the artwork, it was therefore important for all parties involved to work closely together.”
“This artwork symbolises the innovative nature of Schiphol SmartGate Cargo.”
Innovative building with iconic perimeter
For its solution, Heras developed a 4-metre-high fence made from steel plates, in which thousands of small holes have been perforated. Using a special light structure, the fences are lit in such a way that you can clearly make out the letters ‘SMARTGATE’. Frank Diepstraten: “Heras has installed a fence that is every bit as good as our standard perimeter protection at the airport. They took a very proactive approach to this unique project, ranging from design to development and installation. We achieved an excellent result together with all parties involved, one that is iconic and symbolises the innovative nature of Schiphol SmartGate Cargo and the Joint Inspection Center.”
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