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Acoustics: The Latest Architecture and News

Acoustics That Blend Performance with Aesthetics: Why Material Choices Matter

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Throughout history, the undeniable interrelationship between sound and architecture has shaped user's experiences. From auditoriums to offices, cultural centers, and schools, acoustics in architecture can manifest itself in two ways: as a determining element of a structure's shape and as a material. When discussing aesthetics, the latter aspect is particularly relevant, as any material that forms part of a composition aims to have a cohesive design with the rest.

Integrating acoustics through materials presents a significant challenge, as certain attributes such as color, texture, or dimensions may hinder harmonization with the overall design of the space. This can unbalance the experience of the environment, since, although the acoustics are improved, the interior atmosphere is negatively affected. This situation highlights the importance of selecting the right material that can enhance acoustics while maintaining the coherence of the design.

A PVC-Free Acoustic Solution for Healthy, Sustainable and Soundproof Interiors

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Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic –commonly known as vinyl– is everywhere. In fact, chances are you are sitting close to (or on) something containing PVC in some way, shape or form. It’s used in packaging, automobile parts, children’s toys, clothing, accessories, wires, furniture, medical supplies and hundreds of other everyday items. This year alone, global production exceeded 51 million metric tons, solidifying its rank as the third-most produced plastic in the world. It is particularly in the architecture, engineering and construction industry that the material stands unchallenged, accounting for 60-70% of its total consumption. So much so that it has indisputably become the most used plastic for building materials worldwide, often found in pipes, fittings, flooring, roofing, window profiles and more. It’s not hard to understand why: PVC is durable, highly versatile, cost-effective and easy to maintain. But nothing comes without a cost, they say…

Sound Off, Color On: 4 Creative Ways to Integrate Colorful Acoustic Panels in Interiors

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There’s something about the saturated hues of blossoming springtime flowers and the fiery, warm tones of a sunset descending upon a cityscape that brings us joy. Humans crave color. In fact, we’ve been fascinated by them since the beginning of our existence. So much so that everything from the color of our clothes to the brightly illuminated pixels on this screen is an attempt to recreate –and enhance– the vibrant shades present in nature, finding in them a source of inspiration and vitality. Our brains are wired to link colors with sensations and experiences: the lush greens of a forest evoke feelings of tranquility and renewal, while the deep blues of the ocean stir a sense of mystery and adventure. It is this ability to elicit emotion that makes colors an invaluable tool for architects and designers –and which also explains why trends are moving away from the once-reigning neutral minimalism towards a more maximalist aesthetic that embraces pops of color, dimension and playful texture.  

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Clad in Translucent Marble Slabs, The Perelman Performing Arts Center Opens in New York’s Ground Zero

After over two decades in the making, the Perelman Performing Arts Center opened to the public on September 19, 2023. The luminous cube-shaped building was designed by the architecture firm REX, led by Joshua Ramus, to become one of New York City’s cultural keystones and the final piece in the 2023 Master Plan for the rebuilding of the 16-acre World Trade Center site. The inaugural season will feature commissions, world premieres, co-productions, and collaborative work across theater, dance, music, opera, film, and more. While only eight stories high, the venue stands out due to its monolithic façade composed of translucent veined Portuguese marble.

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MAD Architects’ China Philharmonic Concert Hall in Beijing Nears Completion

The China Philharmonic Concert Hall in Beijing, China, designed by MAD Architects led by Ma Yansong, is nearing completion. The design of the concert hall began with a competition, won by MAD in 2014. Upon completion, the 26,000-square-meter building will become the first permanent residence for the China Philharmonic Orchestra, transforming the area into a new locus for classical music and cultural exchange. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

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