21 Jun

Did you know that architecture and music share a lot of similarities? Architects play with space; musicians play with silence. In both ways, they fill a void with a sense of purpose.

 1. Rhythm and texture. 

These terms are used in both music and architecture. Rhythm, in music, is the occurrence of notes of different duration creating a pattern.  In architecture, the rhythm is represented by openings, forms and structure. 

Texture is the quality of the sound when it comes to the tempo, melodic and harmonic materials; in architecture, texture refers to materials and this is what will give the major look of a building. 

2. Harmonies and proportion. 

Harmonies and disharmonies are present in both arts. In music, we hear the different sounds joining to make one composition whereas in architecture, the harmony resides in the visual aesthetics of the buildings. This includes the materials, the interior, the exterior, the colours and so much more. 

There is no doubt that proportion/scale is an important part in design. Architects and engineers are compelled to work with proportions to make sure the design is aesthetically pleasing and structurally feasible. It is also a big deal in music composition as well. It can refer to the distance between notes, intervals, but also the form of a piece. For instance in a song, how many times we’ll hear the chorus, will a song end on a verse, bridge or chorus ? All this determine the proportion of the music and gives the listener a sense of comfort. 

3. A famous architect and composer. 

Iannis Xenakis (born May 29,1922, Romania – died February 4, 2001, France) was an architect and a composer. He worked with influential Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier, with whom he designed the Philips Pavilion. The design of this building was directly inspired by Xenakis’ composition “Metastaseis”. He used similar concepts for the pavilion and for his music and let his passions feed each other. 

4. Soundscapes. 

Every architecture has an acoustic quality. Architects and interior designers should always be conscious of the acoustic quality of the materials being used to ensure the people’s comfort in a building. 

5. Architects design for musicians. 

Be it for a festival or a concert, the spaces in which these events are happening have often been designed by architects. Let’s take one of our well-known Arts and Conference Venue since December 2018 in Mauritius, the Caudan Arts Centre. It has been designed by late Maurice Giraud and Didier Ho Architecture in collaboration with Arup UK. The inside of the theatre has a very technically sophisticated environment. A wide range of surface types are present to maximise the spreading of the sound across the theatre. There are also different panels that ensure an even dispersion of sound coming from the stage. 

Architects take a lot of parameters in consideration when designing a building. The acoustic element is an important one. Here is a very concrete example which everyone can relate to: your site is near a very busy road? The architect’s job is to advise and design as per this constraint and make sure that the noise coming from the road does not disrupt your comfort in your everyday life. Placing wide openings and private spaces on the other side of the building and keeping enough distance from this road might be a way to deal with the noise.

The ADL Team

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