MAAT Museum and reSITE partner on a Conference on Architecture, Art and Sound and will bring world’s best creators of sound spaces and acoustic experiences to Lisbon. During a one-day international event in collaboration with Berkeley, California’s Meyer Sound, we will be thinking about sound and space with architects of the most fascinating contemporary music and culture venues and designers of intriguing sound environments. Artist-led tours, innovative technologies, demonstrations and performances will be part of the event, on top of keynote lectures and discussions with editors from leading global media. Early Bird registrations are open until January 15 for this one-of-a-kind event for architects, artists, engineers and anyone interested in how sound interacts with architecture.
With Argeo Ascani, Anne Guthrie, Zev Greenfield, Margaret Anne Schedel, Elaine Sisman, Emily Thompson, and Peter Zuspan
Moderated by Willem Boning and Curt Gambetta
Performance by Daniel Neumann
In architecture, spatial thinking is at the core of the design process. In music, however, space is often considered a surface effect, a veneer of “good” or “bad” acoustics that is applied to sound rather than grounding it. But music is inherently spatial. As it travels from a source to our ears, music is transformed by the air, the surrounding architecture, and the shape of our own bodies. A number of musicians from across time
Progeny is an International Collaborative Project, featuring the work of Luke Aaron Clark (UK) and Bryce Hammond (USA). The exhibition focuses on an immersive architectural sound installation modeled after a Langstroth Beehive. There are ten partitions covered in acoustic paneling, with 48 microphones, 9 intelligent microphones and 36 speakers that transmit every single sound originated in the space.
Buildings and cityscapes – or the lack thereof – change the way we hear significantly. Acousticians and acoustic engineers are often hired to solve problems with sound leakage, but few people consider the difference between a shout across a city block and the same shout down a closed hallway. In this video, the differences in sound quality in various environments are compared, as the “Wikisinger” performs the same song in 15 places.
Cycling between places like a cathedral, a field in front of oil naves, a concrete tunnel, an abandoned attic and a silence chamber, the acoustic differences between each space are made clear as the song reverberates or lands flatly against the walls surrounding it. Splicing and augmenting the different sounds of each place, the singer creates a kind of orchestra of architecture, inviting listeners to take a second to hear the buildings around them.
Copenhagen Architecture Festival (CAFx) was founded in 2014 and aims to rethink the presentation of architecture, highlighting its qualities and diversity, and create a relevant discussion about how it affects - and is affected by - our way of being in this world. CAFx is a platform to discuss and display ideas within the architectural world through a public program of talks, film, performances, workshops, seminars and exhibitions in collaboration with different partners primarily in Copenhagen but also in the cities of Aarhus and Aalborg.
"During the Middle Ages, smell was the unspoken plague of cities," writes New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. "Today it is sound." In his latest article, entitled "Dear Architects: Sound Matters," Kimmelman breaks down an often-overlooked element of architectural design, explaining how space shapes sound, and how sound shapes our experience of a space - and imploring architects to put more thought into the sonic environments created by their designs.
“As a designer, we create architectural spaces which are de facto instruments—they contain sound, they manipulate it, they can even create sound—so we’re tasked with a very powerful tool for affecting human cognition.”
When thinking of metro stations, the word quiet generally doesn’t come to mind—with all of the train and pedestrian traffic, not only is noise produced in high quantities, but it is also echoed. With this issue in mind, London-based Variant Studio created their proposal for the competition to design the new Novoperedelkino station in Moscow, Russia. Although not selected as the winning design, Variant was one of five shortlisted teams. Learn more about their silent proposal after the break.
The first tenant has moved into the One World Trade Center, making Monday, November 3, the official opening of the (arguably) tallest building in the Western hemisphere 13 years after the tragedy of 9/11. The “extraordinary moment was passed in the most ordinary of ways,” described the New York Times, as employees of Conde Nast entered into the white marble lobby (taken from the same quarry that produced marble for the original twin towers) and headed straight to the elevators to start their work day.
In this interesting article in the New York Times, Allison Arieff highlights the often unconsidered importance of sound in architecture (outside of theaters and museums at least). She profiles the work of Acoustic Engineers at ARUP who have begun to work inschools and hospitals, taking into account the effects poor sound environments can have on us in our everyday lives. You can read the full article here.
There are many forms of architectural representation - from sketches to construction drawings to photographs - but they all privilege vision over any of the other senses. This problem has perhaps only been exacerbated by the internet, which has made it easier to 'experience' buildings from afar, to the detriment of four of the five senses.
Now though, Karen Van Lengen, the Kenan Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, has created Soundscape Architecture, a website that aims to redress this imbalance. In collaboration with artist James Welty and musician Troy Rogers, Van Lengen has used sound recordings of iconic architectural spaces to create synaesthetic animations and musical compositions of the ambient noise there.
Read on after the break for more about Soundscape Architecture
“The modern architect is designing for the deaf.” Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer makes a valid point.  The topic of sound is practically non-existent in modern architectural discourse. Why? We, as architects, think in terms of form and space; we balance scientific understanding and artistic vision. The problem is, we have a tendency to give ample thought to objects rather than processes and systems. Essentially, our field is ocular-centric by nature. So how do we start to “see” sound? And more importantly, how do we use it to promote health, safety and well-being?
The GSA has announced that Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill have been selected as the architects of the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, which will house the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The architects beat out 3 other shortlisted teams to win the $318 million project.
According to the GSA, "The new 550,000-square-foot building will be a sustainable, cost-effective, state-of-the-art court facility that includes security upgrades that are not available in the current 312 North Spring Street courthouse."
The site, located at 107 South Broadway (down the street from Morphosis’ Caltrans building, LA’s City Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall) has been dormant since 2007; although a $1.1 billion design by Perkins + Will was selected soon after, it was abandoned when Congress slashed the GSA's construction budget. The GSA considers the approval of the new redevelopment plan a "major milestone."
More info and images, after the break...
In architecture we talk about space and form. We talk about experience and meaning. All of these qualities are inextricably the sensory experience of light, touch, smell and sound. Sound expert Julian Treasure asks architects to consider designing for our ears, citing that the quality of the acoustics of a space affect us physiologically, socially, psychologically and behaviorally.
More after the break.
The space of sound created by Carlito Carvalhosa’s Sum of Days on exhibit at MoMA until November 14, 2011 is a sublime environment of billowing white fabric and the white noise of the atrium reflected upon itself. The psuedo-boundaries established by the translucent material that hang from the ceiling create a confined space of light and ambient sound – fleeting and ephemeral. Upon entering the exhibit, you pass an array of speakers affixed to the wall. They are emitting a low hum – the sound of voices and echoes that are distant, yet recognizable. It is unclear at first from where these sounds are originating, but behind the fabric bodies are drifting in and out of view. The curtains, which are constantly swaying, direct you in an ellipse to the center of the space where a single microphone hangs, picking up the noise within the exhibit and sending them to the dozens of speakers that hang at intervals inside the curtains, along the walls of the exhibit, and up through the galleries at the mezzanine levels that overlook the atrium.