Landscape Design Plan to combat noise nuisance: Ground ridges reflect noise

The residents of Hoofddorp-Noord have experienced extra inconvenience from ground noise since Runway 18R-36L (Polderbaan) was opened in 2003. Ground noise is the low, rumbling sound that aircraft make when they take off. That noise can travel even further in winter, when the ground is often wet or frozen. However, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) has found a solution in noise-reflecting ridges.

Earthworks that reflect sound

Ridges of earth have been created in the area between Hoofddorp-Noord and Runway 18R-36L (Polderbaan). They are like little wedge-shaped hills with slopes that are angled to reflect sound waves upwards. The ridges are three metres high. 2 metres of that is above ground, and 1 below ground. The idea was the inspiration of TNO, which calculated the noise reduction and also took measurements using a scale model in a wind tunnel.

Buitenschot Land Art Park

The noise-reflecting ridges were installed in consultation with the residents’ association for Hoofddorp-Noord and the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer. It created an extraordinary landscape, designed by H+N+S landschapsarchitecten. So remarkable that we have built the Buitenschot Land Art Park around it to create a space where you can walk, cycle and relax. The most important feature of the ridges is their strategic location, which reduces the disturbance caused by ground noise.

Listening Ear

As you stroll through Buitenschot Land Art Park, you encounter two works of art by artist Paul de Kort inspired by sound. One is the ‘Listening Ear’, a parabolic dish supported by two pyramids. Someone standing at the focal point of this parabola can listen to the environmental sounds. The other artwork is a diamond-shaped pool that is set up so you can make rippling patterns in the water using wave mechanics.

Come and see the ridges

Please feel free to visit Buitenschot Land Art Park and the noise-reflecting ridges. The park is located next to the N201 near Hoofddorp-Noord, and it is also easily accessible by bicycle. Space is available for parking on IJweg.

More on how we limit noise nuisance