What Is Soundscape and What Does It Have to Do with Architecture?


Soundscape / Mandai Architects. Image © Akihide Mishima

Soundscape / Mandai Architects. Image © Akihide Mishima

At the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, designed by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe in the iconic Seagram Building, a rectangular pool played the leading role in the space, highlighted by four trees planted in pots at each of the vertices. The soft noise made by the water became consecrated. In addition to giving the hall some personality, it served to absorb the sounds of conversations (often secret) among tables. Just as the way that light enters a space, or how interior landscapes are perceived, sound is one more characteristic of an environment, though it is generally overlooked by architects. This goes beyond providing it with efficient acoustics, but creating a sound atmosphere for a space. This is the concept of soundscape.

Read more »