The Lock Operation Centre (SOC) is almost finished. The outer facade of the main building has been completed. An emergency staircase and a steel platform will be installed after the summer. Shortly after the summer, the local control buildings will be clad with the same sturdy, ribbed facade as the main building. What other activities are scheduled? That is what we asked Steffan Haver of IBB Kondor.
Are you proud of the facade?
‘Yes I am very proud, it looks beautiful. We have applied special, irregularly ribbed surface panels that give the building the appearance of a weathered rock in the waves. This was not an easy job, because the panels had to be fixed invisibly to the facade. But we managed! The panels have been seamlessly fit together and form a whole.’
What more needs to be done now that the facade of the SOC has been completed?
‘We are going to install several steel components to the facade, such as an emergency staircase and a platform for the window-cleaners. These elements will add to the striking appearance of the building, because both the stairs and the platform will be painted a bright red colour. Very cool, just like the ribbed facade itself. The main building has nearly been completed and we are now focusing on the interior. That means that we are now busy with installing sanitary facilities, after which the painting and decorating work will start. Blinds will be installed on the inside of the glazing. The floor covering, which the architect designed in a special pattern, will follow at a later stage – after the installation of the lock operating consoles – to reduce the risk of damaging the floor covering.'
What else are you busy with?
‘We are still working on the two local control buildings located next to the lock gates. The local control buildings will only be used when the main control system is being maintained or cannot be used due to breakdown or other calamity. These two buildings will become small copies of the main control building and will also be leaning slightly forward like the main building, although the inclination has no function here. As the local control buildings are unmanned, there are no operators who can get dazzled by reflection from light mirrored in the water and the inclination of the two control buildings has purely aesthetic purposes. Once the local control buildings have been made watertight, the lock operating systems will be installed. I think the installation here will take much less time than at the main control building. We have already completed the installation in the main building and we now know what the bottlenecks are. The SOC will be completed after the summer. The creation of the infrastructure around the Lock Operation Centre and also the testing of the systems will be done at a later stage. But that is something for the future.’