Check out this acoustically-perfect concert hall, designed with algorithms
Hamburg’s newest concert hall, Elbphilharmonie, is almost as aesthetically pleasing as it is acoustically perfect. The ambitious venue has reached fruition after more than thirteen years in the making, with over $843 million spent on its development. The Swiss architectural firm Herzog & De Meuron worked with One to One Studio and various engineers in completing the project, which used parametric design to break ground in acoustic technology.
Parametric design rests on using algorithms to create an object’s form. After pairing together certain architectural requirements such as maintaining a beautiful appearance and “respecting the audience” with famed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota’s calculations of an ideal sound map for the main auditorium, One to One was able to combine all that they needed into a series of algorithms that called for 10,000 unique sound panels to outfit the room that each possessed a specific shape and pattern.
Within the panels are one million “cells,” or shell-shaped grooves of varying lengths and textures. These cells allow sound to be absorbed or echoed off the walls, thereby creating an unparalleled and balanced sonic experience. Moreover, given the architectural design requirements, these panels are also striking in form, combining for a unique combination of audiovisual stimulation. The finesse exhibited in the development of Elbphilharmonie outlines just how far technology has come in design work, and how much potential could truly be reached in the near future.
Featured Image by Iwan Baan.