More than just a beautiful fence
In Schiedam, a large sports park and recreational area was built above the roof of the A4 motorway tunnel. The most immediately striking feature of the Willem-Alexander Sportpark is the fence with green images enclosing the sports fields. Heras was contracted to supply this specially designed mesh fence structure. This unique work of art with multi-coloured pixels, was conceived by Jeroen and Joep Verhoeven, founders of the design firm DeMakersVan. Jeroen: “As a designer, you have an initial idea that you further develop in your mind You then think: this is how it’s going to be, however it’s always more impressive to see it in real life.”
Pixels and windbreak function
The images are all created using small pods, which Jeroen and Joep call pixels. Joep: “All of the small pixels combine to produce a larger picture when seen from a distance. This idea was easy to combine with the Heras fencing.” The fencing is over 7 metres high, of which 5.50 metres rises above the tunnel. The height of the fields above ground level made it important to have some kind of windbreak function. To this end, Heras specially designed posts that were tested extensively in a wind tunnel before being installed. The high density of the pixels also helps to buffer the wind.
1.6 million pixels
Jeroen: “The entire fence is coloured black and white, and nine shades of green. If you think about the 1.6 million slots where the pods had to be clicked onto, you understand why it took a great deal of organising.” All the pixels were produced by a company in Amsterdam, and the chain link mesh was made by Heras. The wire mesh and the pods were then sent to India for assembly, before being sent back to the Netherlands. Heras then built the fence structure and strung the mesh onto it.
Jeroen and Joep were very satisfied with the collaboration with Heras. Jeroen: “Heras was like a chameleon changing to respond precisely to the client’s needs, and to the manufacturer. That’s not always easy.”
The end result
Joep, Jeroen and Heras were thrilled with the end result. Joep: “Whatever the project, you do it for an audience. For us as designers, it’s really wonderful when there’s a positive interaction between the user and the work that you’ve created.”