render milksplash atrium
the making of
07 06 13

The Making of the Milksplash

‘Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could realize this!’ was the first reaction of the FrieslandCampina Innovation Centre, when they saw the sketches of Fokkema & Partners Architecten. But nobody had really expected that in two years time they could actually touch the 11 meter high, shiny white swing, that soon got the nickname the Milksplash. Thanks to the collaboration between Fokkema & Partners, Hurksbouw ‘s Hertogenbosch, Nedcam and Timmermans Siersmeedwerk the seemingly impossible became possible.

‘The FrieslandCampina Innovation Centre is a leading laboratory in dairy related research’ explains Diederik Fokkema, ‘The exterior of the building is rather modest, but in the interior we wanted to make a statement that shows to visitors immediately where they are. The design of the Milksplash is both inspired by the Sparkle of the FrieslandCampina logo as well as by the shape of streaming milk. You can even associate it’s double helix with chemical structures’.

After the positive response of FrieslandCampina, their project leader Gerard Menting advised Fokkema & Partners to contact Nedcam in Duiven, a company specialized in complex 3D shapes. Nedcam are responsible for the engineering and made the first several models in coated foam. When the fire department made objections to using foam based on its fire safety the Milksplash seemed stuck.

The solution came from Walter Konings and Ton Smolders of Hurksbouw, who knew a small workshop in Esch, named Timmermans Siersmeedwerk. Timmermans took on the challenge and in December 2012 the new model in sheetsteel was approved. The realization could start!

Proudly Timmermans shows local TV around in his workshop. Behind him lies a 6 meter long segment of the Milksplash. On a steel spine a range of fins are welded, to fix the curved shape. To the fins a thin skin of sheetsteel is applied, 280 square meter in all.

‘The wing of a plane, the tail of a dinosaur’, many are the associations of the bystanders when the finished segments are lifted on a truck of Koninklijke Saan to bring them to the FrieslandCampina building. In an earlier stage the atrium floor and the steel beams of the roof were strengthened to be able to fix and stabilize the Splash.

After assembling all segments of the 80 meter long Milksplash (It fits!), the joints are four times filled before being primed. Next the whole swing is sprayed in shiny white. In October the doors of the new building will open. The Milksplash is ready for its meeting with the public.


click for a video of the interior design for the FrieslandCampina Innovation centre