(1) Clue = the thread title and the site name.
((It's not like I bombard this NG with unrelated links =:-p ))
(2) Yes, I made a typo, may all the shames of the ages be upon me... =:-p
Click if you're curious; if not, then don't <shrug>
Right. That fearsome Interweb thingie. Can't be too careful!
At what point do you stop requiring to be spoon fed? You post all
sorts of BS that has little or nothing to do with architecture, then
when someone - a regular on the newsgroup - posts something that does
have something to do with architecture you bitch that he doesn't serve
it up in your style?
Thank you for your thoughts. I don't click on unidentified websites for
a couple of reasons - image intensive waits and malicious code. A
simple descriptionusually suffices to let people know what they are
clicking on. A single word would have done this one, the last name of
Naw, I've never been any good at conspiracy - I just calls 'em as I sees
'em. Like every other human on the face fo the planet, sometimes I might
sees 'em a bit crosseyed ;) , but no conspiracies - my mind doesn't
function in that way.
At any rate, did you get a chance to read about "Resource-based economy"
and "cities that think"? IMO, it's food for thought, tho' I'm not so sure
about the practicality of *all* of it.
I rather enjoyed the article, I have always appreciated Saarinen's work. His
chapel at MIT is excellent, but the domed auditorium adjacent has had
acoustical and roofing problems and since it opened. While you can hardly
hear the person on the stage, a whisper on one side of the audience can be
heard on the other side.
It was, and the idea that we can fix any thing with engineering. Spoke to a
professional classical singer years ago who would not sing there after one
time. Told me that he could not make his voice "work" with the acoustics.
Yes we did know acoustical design since the 19th century. A good example is
Boston's Symphony Hall, where the hall acts as a huge instrument itself.
(once had the luck to sit in the middle of the main floor during Beethoven's
9th, I remember the hair on my arms rising and vibrating). There were
theory's in the 50's and 60's that all that acoustical stuff could be
bounced around and directed by floating "cloud" panels. MIT's auditorium and
the Lincoln Center Halls were designed as Architect's wet dreams and the
acoustical engineers were supposed to fix it with hanging "clouds". Lincoln
Center's Philharmonic Hall was definitely very bad. Some time in the late
70's Philharmonic Hall's guts were torn out, and the interior rebuilt with
proportions and sound reflection times based on Symphony and Carnage Halls
(They are basically acoustical twins, designed by the same acoustical
engineer). The resulting Avery Fisher Hall was a great success, and the
acoustical control methods are now universally used. There was a great
article in The New Yorker magazine at the time the explained in clear terms
what was done. I learned more from that article than from any classroom.
What is clear is that if you are going to manipulate the sound waves of a
space with an audience, it must have certain solid shapes and any reflective
elements must be very solid and cannot vibrate. Other elements that may
become a part of the giant instrument you are building can vibrate, e.g. the
floor of Symphony Hall is sloped, but removable, and it responds to the
music, likewise the seats were designed (in 1890) to approximate the sound
absorption / reflection of a human body, so that empty seats would not
change the timber of the music. Additionally the floor of the stage slopes
slightly up towards the rear and there are paneled wood walls splaying out
to the audience. BTW I am in no way a musician and don't play an instrument
This is absolutely the case. There are stages such that you cannot hear
yourself sing and the only way to accomplish that is to wear earphones
so that you can approximate (but with earphones, depending on the size
of the hall there can be a delay such that someone in the audience is
not hearing what you want them to hear)
Actually there are a number of buildings still standing with built in
acoustics from a millenium ago, and that methodology was not new.
Most good acoustics engineers with whom you work will give you guideline
on design for what you want to achieve in projection and privacy. Good
acoustics is not only what you can achieve through shaping sound in a
space where only designated people utter sound. It is also how you
accommodate sound that is necessary but you do not want to be prominent,
with spatial considerations taking precedence over mitigation.
SHouldn't design work hand-in-hand with engineering, tho', esp. regarding
teh most critical elements of a structure (such as, fro a concert hall,
the acoustics)...? I'ts not that I don't understand the idea of Artistic
Vision, but I suppose I view it from the perspective of my background in
the biological and health sceinces, namely: "A successful organism is
one that is well-adapted to its surroundsings" - although I also would
(and do! ;) ) add that beauty is similar. It seems unrealted at frst,
but not so, in that at least *part* of beauty, for organisms and also for
human-created structures, includes similar principles of successful
interaction with the surroundings, IOW, how well the organism/structure
fits its purpose. Compare "falcon" and "loon" - each has to be
considered in tandem with its surroundings and purpose, the falcon being
adapted to (and successful at interacting with) air and its prey
(pidgeons for the most part), and the loon, water and its respective prey
So, fora building, it seems to me that, using your concert hall as an
analogy that can be generalized, a building that fails in its purpose
might be "interesting", but the beauty it otherwise might have would be
seriously flawed because of that failure.
Makes perfect sense.
OK, that's what I'd guessed, but wasn't sure.
I don't knwo the math, but intuirively, that doesn't seem to me to be
obvious - IOW, given the way that water-waves work, and teh sense that
the hanging panels would have their own vibrational frequency that would
interefere with bouncing non-compatible frequencies, the idea of using
hanging stuff to force sound waves to do this or that doesn't seme to me
to be perdictable. It seems like a goofy idea to spend millions of $$ on
a building using that principle, without first rigorously testing the
I'll have to see whether I can find related info on google, it seems
That is an interesting and, as I read it, vital point - a concert hall
is, indeed, an instrument. I like that observation a lot, I never tought
of it that way before. Great observation and elegant conceptual point :)
Not necessary - one does not have to be able to do something, in order to
appreciate someone else's ability/performance of it or, for that matter,
to understand the technical aspects, and how those interact with the
artistic aspects :)
Domes are particularly bad for sound. We attended a service in Notre Dame
Paris that taught me why Gregorian Chat was invented. It practically wound
it's way around the columns and drifted upward with the incense. St. Paul's
in London (domed) has an amplifying system for the priest that delays the
sound to the rear of the church to match the actual time it takes for the
spoken voice to reach the rear, thereby avoiding the echoing. It does work.
I would imagine that St. Peters in Rome might have a similar system.
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