Sixty seconds of architecture. Along the A2 highway from Amsterdam to Maastricht, the Cockpit and Sound Barrier are designed from the perspective of cars passing by at a speed of 120 km/h. The dominant design principle is the use of long continuous lines forming smoothly stretched shells on both sides of the barrier. The long elastic lines along the length of the barrier have no explicit beginning or end and make up a 1.5 km long stretched slender body.
Streamlining is used for cars, boats and planes to diminish drag. In the section the shapes change from angular to smoothly curved, from convex to concave curves. In the car industry you can find similar folding lines which run for some length and then stop again, creating a play of variable lights and colors. The A2 Highway front is built up with a triangulated system of 300 one-off glass elements, the other front side is clad with an aluminium cladding.
Design formula. The length of the Acoustic Barrier is stretched 10 times its height in the longitudinal direction. The barrier widens to a maximum width of 30 m and a maximum height of 20 m to inhabit the Cockpit, a showroom and workshop for luxury cars like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati and Lotus. Internally the floors of the showroom form a closed circuit loop following the NURBS curves of the glass facade. The loop connects the 4 levels, each for one brand. This enables the visitor to make an architectural tour and experience the entire building. Thanks to the natural lighting produced by the continuity of the glass facade into the glass roof, and thanks to the proximity of the volume to the highway, the cars will be visible from the A2 highway. The automotive styling generates an architecture which no longer is based on the aesthetics of repetition. All building components are tailor made one-offs, each element has an unique shape and an unique dimension.