At the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, designed by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe in the iconic Seagram Building, a rectangular pool played the leading role in the space, highlighted by four trees planted in pots at each of the vertices. The soft noise made by the water became consecrated. In addition to giving the hall some personality, it served to absorb the sounds of conversations (often secret) among tables. Just as the way that light enters a space, or how interior landscapes are perceived, sound is one more characteristic of an environment, though it is generally overlooked by architects. This goes beyond providing it with efficient acoustics, but creating a sound atmosphere for a space. This is the concept of soundscape.
Acoustics: The Latest Architecture and News
We talk a lot about sound treatment for architecture but normally for new projects. In projects that are already built, either a rented apartment or small commercial space, we often have to deal with noises that we can't control, affecting our physical and mental health. In this article, we explore practical tips on how to manage and reduce these noises and improve the quality and atmosphere of these environments.
Acoustic comfort is affected by the levels and the nature of the sound experienced in an interior space, measured in decibels. The functionality and aesthetics of working and living spaces are usually the primary focus of the designer, however, too often overlooked, are the factors contributing to the productivity of employees or the comfort of residents. Providing a comfortable acoustic environment contributes significantly to the overall mood and health of people operating within it.
As our cities densify and building types become more and more mixed-use, we tend to spend a lot of time in noisy environments. When we think about acoustic comfort, we rarely think of places like restaurants, venues, and big offices; places with a lot of people, machinery, and background noise. The quality of sound can entirely change the experience of people in an interior space, and improving the space's acoustic quality relies on treating all surfaces, from walls to ceilings, and flooring. In this article, we will present a variety of solutions for ceilings, flooring, and walls, their different combinations, and a simple guide of how to apply them correctly in public spaces without compromising the aesthetic of the interior.
The ceiling is an important element in architecture and interior design, combining functionality with aesthetics through different materials that add layers of texture and color, providing quality and comfort in interior spaces as well as a protective surface for other building systems.
It is safe to say that living in large urban areas, most of the sounds surrounding us are accidental, and most of them are not very pleasant. According to Julian Treasure, chairman of The Sound Agency, sounds can affect us in many ways: physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behaviorally, reducing productivity in workspaces and even affecting sales in retail stores. Therefore, paying attention to acoustic comfort in the built environment is imperative, not only for engineers and consultants but also for architects.
If you live in an apartment, you may unintentionally know the details of your neighbor's life by overhearing conversations through your shared walls. Or you keep awake when the dog that lives in the apartment above decides to take a walk in the middle of the night. If so, you may live in an apartment with inadequate sound insulation in its walls and/or slabs. As cities grow increasingly dense and builders seek to increase their profit margins, it is not uncommon for acoustic comfort to be overlooked in many architectural projects. When the resulting noise is excessive or unwanted, it impacts the human body, the mind, and daily activities. While not all spaces need to seal all types of sound, creating spaces with an adequate degree of soundproofing improves the quality of life of all users.
Noisy environments can significantly and negatively effect our bodies, and are a great villain to concentration, learning, and productivity in classrooms and offices. Headaches are one momentary symptom of noise. But staying exposed to very noisy places can bring greater problems such as hearing loss, lower concentration, high blood pressure, and even poor digestion. It can also trigger high levels of stress, sleep disturbances, mood changes, increased heart rate, and ringing in the ears. This is an invisible enemy and is often neglected in big cities with the noise of heavy traffic, demolition. and noisy equipment, such as generators and air conditioners. However, effective measures can be taken to avoid this unnecessary noise.
"Acoustics" in architecture means improving sound in environments. Although it is a complex science, understanding the basics - and making efficient and effective decisions - is much easier than you might think. The first step is to understand that there are two technical categories used in acoustics: soundproofing and acoustical treatment. Soundproofing means "less noise" and treatment, "better sound".
Audience sightlines, accessibility and acoustics all make theater seating a hugely precise art. As part of their set of online resources for architects and designers, the team at Theatre Solutions Inc (TSI) have put together a catalog of 21 examples of theater seating layouts. Each layout is well detailed, with information on the number of seats, the floor seating area and row spacing. These layouts fall under three general forms; to supplement this information, alongside TSI's diagrams we've included the pros and cons of each type, as well as examples of projects which use each format. Read on for more.
Above and Beyond Aesthetics, Suspended Ceilings Can Improve Occupant Comfort and Acoustical Performance
Open ceilings offer an opportunity for creative design and technical integration. They play a key role in forming interior spaces and add value by adding comfort through acoustics, finishes and other integrated solutions to the overall design intent.
Picture this. You're in a restaurant and you can hear the conversation of the person in the table next to you better than the person you're sitting with. Then, everyone begins to speak louder, making the environment chaotic. Absorption, reflection, reverberation, frequency, decibels, etc. Although acoustics is a complex science that can render buildings almost uninhabitable when not properly thought out, architects do not always possess the theoretical resources nor have the necessary concern to develop acoustically comfortable spaces.
When we think about a perfect match between acoustics and good design it may not be as easy as it seems. A number of technical decisions in order to make an interior space acoustically efficient -and to achieve its programmatic purpose correctly- can make some of the architect's design intentions fade and be replaced by standard and prefabricated panels.
In this article, we present a selection of architecture projects that are able to create a memorable visual impact as well as an impeccable interior solution for acoustics. These are our favorite 14 music venues that fascinate inside and out.
There are many ways to solve the acoustic comfort of the interior spaces we design, using materials and solutions of different prices and appearances. Perforated cardboard gypsum boards are an economical and efficient option to incorporate into projects, absorbing the sound and reducing the noise level generated by the reverberation through different patterns and shapes.
Applied mainly in schools, offices, shopping centers, restaurants, lobbies, and hospitals, gypsum boards are easy to install and can deliver high-quality aesthetic results in ceilings and coatings.
An installation at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden is made entirely of translucent concrete panels. Composed of concrete and bubble wrap, the site blends both high and low technology processes. This high-tech lecture hall is an amorphous space with unique acoustic qualities.
The panels were created by compressing High-Performance Concrete between two layers of Bubble-Wrap. With 262,500 cavities and 1,000,000 membrane-perforations, the material creates a diffused echo-free ambiance.