From Architecture to Nature: 5 Unique Ways to Use Acoustics
When you think of acoustics, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s music or the birds chirping outside, the sound of an organ resounding through a church, or perhaps it’s being able to hear through the walls of your apartment into your neighbor’s space. All of these are examples of good and bad acoustics, but there’s more to them than meets the eye (or ear). Well-designed and implemented acoustic solutions can also add elements of design, style, color, and visual interest to environments. Not convinced? Look no further than these inspiring examples of unique acoustics for sound and more.
1. David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Earlier this fall, Lincoln Center’s famed David Geffen Hall reopened, showcasing a stunning revitalization and redesign (seriously, take a peek for yourself) focused on “experience and inclusion.” With “sonic quality” the priority of the space’s acoustic architects, the project incorporates sculptural beechwood paneling wraps throughout its interior.
In addition to supporting top-notch acoustics, these wood panels create visual richness and warmth for audiences. The result? An immersive environment — and more powerful connections to the music.
2. Soho Place in London’s West End
If you’ve ever been to London, you know London’s West End is known for its vibrant arts and theater offerings. While people flock to the West End to take in shows at its historic playhouses, doing so is often less than comfortable due to the limited legroom, restricted sightlines, and sub-par acoustics in these older buildings.
Until now, that is!
The destination’s first “purpose-built” theater in decades, Soho Place is leading a significant regeneration of the area, which puts innovative design at the forefront. While the new space is known for many design aspects, including its intimacy, flexibility, and perfect sightlines, its vibration-free acoustics set a new standard for theater acoustics. It’s something you truly need to hear for yourself (see what we did there?).
In fact, acoustic consultant Gillieron Scott is recognized as one of the auditorium’s key specialist consultants.
3. “Love is Blind”
When you can’t see your potential love interest and can only speak to them through a shared wall, acoustics become especially important. Such was the challenge faced by the production designer of the reality show “Love is Blind.” Acoustical solutions to the rescue!
The show turned to soundproof pods engineered to help contestants hear each other without additional noises or distractions. To help create intimacy and connection, the pods were also designed to be “inviting and homey” by incorporating sound-dampening padded walls.
In fact, did you know the soundproof pods became such appealing spaces that even the production team loved spending time in them?
4. The Music Hall at the Āli Qapu Palace, Iran
One of the most famous palaces of the Persian Empire’s Safavid Era, Āli Qapu, was built in the 17th century. While it’s known for many awe-inspiring architectural features, the “low-tech acoustic genius” of its sixth-story Music Hall is especially remarkable.
Celebrated as the world’s “first low-tech quadraphonic sound system,” the Music Hall walls feature a series of plaster niches that add aesthetic beauty while absorbing echoes.
5. Estonia’s Forest Megaphones
While the other examples on this list focus on soundproofing acoustics in architecture, Estonia’s magnificent forest megaphones serve a different purpose: amplifying the world’s natural noises. Designed to “harness the sounds of the forest,” these oversized wooden funnels act as a kind of “bandstand” for trees and other entities of the forest.
Designed by interior design students, they create idyllic spaces for sitting, sleeping, thinking, and, yes, listening! Said department leader Hannes Praks of how they work, “At the center of the installation, sound that feeds from all three directions should create a unique merged surround sound effect.”
Adds Estonia author Valdur Mikita of the experience, “It’s a place to listen, to browse the audible book of nature — there hasn’t really been a place like that in Estonia before.”
Unique Designs Are Everywhere – Start Yours With Unika Vaev
While these are just a few examples of how unique acoustical design shapes our experiences in buildings and the world, there’s so much more where this came from. From the perforated and padded timber-lined walls of the Danish Music Museum to the “Whispering Gallery” of the UK’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, acoustic design has transformative potential to influence how we experience the surrounding world.
No matter what your goals are for your space, Unika Vaev’s ingenious and versatile acoustic solutions, like our sustainable ecoustic® Collection, Scala Wall Panels, and Coffered Ceiling Tile Collection, can help you achieve them.
From decorative acoustic panels for walls to ceilings, acoustic lighting (yup, we said lighting!), and other acoustic applications, Unika Vaev offers tons of colorful and customizable acoustic solutions.
Whether you already know the exact decorative sound absorption panels you need, you’re just starting to think about improving acoustics in your space, or you’re searching for inspiration for an acoustic project, Unika Vaev is here to help.