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Roland van Rouwendaal is project manager at Strukton, the contractor that won the tender for the upgrade of the F and G-piers, last year. Strukton is already hard at work at Schiphol. And they will continue to do so for a while, as they also won the tender for the upgrade of the D-pier. At the moment they are working on piers F and G. Among other things, they are busy with the construction and installation of new catering facilities and retail. 'The next few weeks, travellers will see more and more of them.'
Around 120 Strukton employees have been working on piers F and G for the last few months, and a lot of progress has now been made. The preparations for a catering outlet are nearly complete, new terrazzo flooring is in place, and the walls have been covered in natural stone. Roland says, ‘We are fitting new sanitary facilities that are in keeping with the Toilet Spa concept. There will also be extra seating at the gates, ranging from handy workstations to luxury lounging areas.’
Is everything being replaced? ‘Not everything,’ says Roland. ‘We’re re-using existing items and materials where possible. In a number of places, the existing floor fits in really well with the new style of the piers. We’re repairing it where necessary, and once that’s done it should last for years.’ The famous black bucket chairs are also staying. ‘We’re going to freshen them up a bit, and add some more.’
It’s sometimes difficult for the construction workers to be able to get on with their work. ‘One of the reasons we won the tender was because we planned to carry out the work without closing any gates. This means that the work has to be carried out a bit at a time, and we often have to work behind dust partitions. Of course, a lot of the construction work is carried out at night, when the airport is quiet. It’s quite difficult, but we enjoy the challenge of doing a lot of work and still managing not to cause disruption for travellers.’
Strukton provides various structural and installation services via their business unit Worksphere. They do this all over the world, including at Schiphol. It’s not the first time they’ve worked here. Roland, too, has carried out work at the airport before. ‘I was involved in the construction of the mezzanine floors in Departures 2 and 3 a few years ago. Every time I walk past now, I look up and think “I worked on that!” I hope I’ll have the same sense of pride when I look at the piers.’ But the most important thing to this project manager is the opinion of travellers. ‘We’ll soon hear what they think. The renovations will become more visible to travellers in the coming weeks.’