OPEN Architecture blended architecture with nature for its outstanding UCCA Dune Art Museum and now the firm does the same again with the Chapel of Sound. Currently under construction in China, the remarkable-looking concert hall seems a natural extension of the landscape and takes the form of a rocky outcrop.
The Chapel of Sound is located to the north of Beijing, in a valley that hosts parts of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. It's being built using concrete and an aggregate of crushed local rocks, to lend it a natural appearance.
The structure's design was initially inspired by the properties of resonant cavities in shells, wooden instruments, and the human ear, but was then tweaked using software to ensure it would offer a suitable space for music. When not hosting performances, it'll also provide a space for contemplation and community gatherings.
"When the sun shines, sunbeams dance across the rough surfaces of the cave, filling it with light as well as sound; when it rains, water too creates a meditative performance of its own as it falls through the hall's central opening, splashing onto the floor before flowing out through floor channels," says OPEN Architecture. "When there is no scheduled concert – no choir or instruments playing — the hall still remains a destination — one at which to quietly listen to the sound of birds singing, insects chirping, gentle breezes rustling through nearby trees, or raindrops on the floor. Inside this mysterious space, nature orchestrates an ever-changing symphony. It is a chapel of sound."
The interior of the Chapel of Sound will have 790 sq m (around 8,500 sq ft) of floorspace and, in addition to the main performing spaces, storage rooms, seating and the like, will include winding stairways that lead up to a viewing point from which visitors will be able to enjoy choice views of the Great Wall nearby.
Construction on the project is already well underway and it's expected to be completed later this year. Engineering firm Arup is also involved.
Source: OPEN Architecture
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