Extensive traveling wears on the soul. Although seeing new places is exciting, the constant landscape of airport after airport can leave one wishing for more natural green surroundings. If you’re traveling through Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport you may not have to wish any longer. The airport recently unveiled an indoor/outdoor nature park where travelers can go to relax, unwind and enjoy a bit of (somewhat simulated) nature.
Airport Park is a unique space with plenty of green features to help even the most weary traveler recharge a bit. In the indoor section of the park there is a lounge with comfortable organic-shaped seating, a cafe and a small retail shop. Real plants are integrated with some of the seating fixtures while other seats are shaped like natural logs.
The outdoor segment of the park contains designer chairs beneath large trees. As the park ages, ivy will eventually grow to cover these chairs and provide lush green seats for visitors. Travelers are encouraged to grab a snack and a drink, then sit down in either the indoor or outdoor portion of the park to take in a bit of “nature” before heading off to their destination.
To fully immerse visitors in the sensation of being in a public park, the Airport Park uses what they call “mixed reality technology.” Projections of scenes from real parks adorn the walls while projected butterflies flitter around on the floor. Sounds of the outdoors like birds, bicycle bells and playing children create an immersive environment where travelers can almost forget where they really are.
The unusual park doesn’t just give the illusion of being green, however. Sustainable ideals were used extensively in the park’s design. Natural light illuminates the space through tube lighting and fiber optics cables. For nighttime illumination, low-consumption LED lights were used wherever possible. Real plants purify the air and provide natural decoration while adding to the park-like atmosphere.
Travelers who need to recharge their mobile phones while waiting for a flight can do so while getting in a mini-workout with stationary bike-powered phone chargers. For those who prefer to just sit still for a while, plenty of traditional power outlets are also available for recharging gadgets.