Arup’s Audio Renderings

[images via Arup]

While writing a previous post on the audio perception of space, I was reminded of an article in the June 2008 issue of Dwell aptly title Audio Architecture, describing the Arup Soundlab. The SoundLab is a room where Arup engineers can create what is essentially a rendering of a building’s acoustics, allowing clients, engineers, and consultants to listen to the sounds of a simulated building environment. In the same way that an architectural rendering is a preview of how the building looks and how it will impact its context, the Soundlab is a rendering of how the building sounds. And in much the same way that a rendering can be quickly altered to study different spatial options, the SoundLab makes it possible for engineers to “tune” a building to the client’s taste. It creates a purely audio understanding of the spaces within an existing or proposed structure and can even recreate the acoustical conditions of buildings that no longer exist. Ever wanted to here Led Zeppelin in the original Beauvais cathedral? Done. Bizet in Yankee Stadium? No problem. At last — the world is one step closer to a fully-immersive holodeck…or at least some sort of postmodern shift-house. (We can figure out what exactly that means later.)

2 Replies to “Arup’s Audio Renderings”

  1. Wouldn’t that be a riot? Just think a life without buildings…aha…but what of the wondrous architectural masterpieces designed by Wright, Gehry, Maki, to name a few…what of the ancient relics such as Egyptian pyramids? Although we can challenge our imagination with the holodeck…we will lose out on so many great things…very innovative idea…but I still like to admire the history behind and making of all buildings.

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