In September 2019, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) will start using a new extension at Schiphol-East. The new building, called Polaris, will incorporate many new innovative techniques and the building itself will have a high-tech, futuristic appearance. It will house LVNL’s training centre and it will be built on the other side of the road in relation to the existing building. To bridge the gap, a bridge will be built between the current building and Polaris. Sprangers-Kuijpers, in cooperation with Octatube, presented the best approach and won the tender.
In terms of architectural design, the footbridge has to fit in with the futuristic design of Polaris. The bridge has become a steel construction consisting of rolled tubes and diagonal bars, which collectively form an elliptical tunnel. The structure of the tunnel is also called a net stocking. The different profiles give the design a striking appearance and they form the supporting structure. The net stocking is clad in sandwich and glass panels, revealing the distinctive shape of the steel both inside and out. The design features a glass facade that is extended into the roof in several places, to make the interior bright and transparent.
When Octatube became involved in the project, the general design of the bridge was made by Ector Hoogstadt. Octatube was asked to develop the design and do the engineering. The challenge for Octatube was to make the details feasible and at the same time, stay as close as possible to the design of the architect. The dimensions and thicknesses of the extraordinary construction have been optimized to maintain the aesthetic value. The bridge is 52 meters long and has a free span of 35 meters, but the profile dimensions have nevertheless remained limited. Octatube succeeded in achieving an efficient and high-quality finished design in collaboration with De Kok Staalbouw and Colpro, who also take care of some of the production.
Special construction process
The steel structure will be delivered in 2 parts of 25 meter, transported over water, to the construction site close to the final location. On site, the parts will be assembled into one unit. The entire structure is clad with the sandwich skin and the hot bent (insulated) glass panels. The entire bridge will be rotated in a single day and positioned at the required height. This way the road will be blocked for one day only. The pre-assembly of the bridge will take about 2 months. Naturally, we will closely follow the assembly and transport of the enormous steel structure. One thing is certain, this will not be an ordinary bridge. We are already looking forward to the end result!