Architecture becomes interesting when experienced via auditory senses beyond physics. Sound works with other senses of the body and influences occupants. It helps them to construct an understanding of forms, objects, and distances. The interplay between aural and visual architecture creates captivating spatial experiences. 

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We use our auditory sense to bond with other people as well as to enjoy space. For occupants to share space, they must share their experiences and sound is often a primary feature that unites them. 

Architectural space makes something possible, but it becomes meaningful only when it is utilized appropriately. Space created through moving sound is a spatial experience for users. It is the frame for different kinds of activities and functions. The building material is the abstract line of sounds. Hence, sounds act as an entity which animates and enlarges the architecture.

Many of the material and social functions of architecture can be fulfilled by sound, as a supplement or complement to conventional architecture and has great potential. The materials shape the quality of the immaterial in the space. In terms of sound, it refers to acoustics. It is the subjective experience of sound affection by an architectural space (dry, wet, reverberant, soft, hard) and the research of the interaction of materials and sound.

In architecture, a most pleasurable soundscape is with a unifying vibration that orchestrates everything. Architectural acoustics influence the sound perception in space through building materials. 

The logistics and architecture at a place are all laid out according to acoustic demands, generally. For example, the two-storey buildings have their sleeping rooms at the upper level and equipped with a narrow vertical listening slot to either of the four sides, so that any sounds happening around the house can be monitored. Beyond music halls and religious institutions, the sound should do more than help occupants reconstruct space, it should help occupants truly interact with their surroundings and hence elaborate to the architectural evolution.

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https://dmsasparchment.com/2013/09/10/architecture-and-acoustics-you-know-greatness-when-you-hear-it/

The architect stages the encounter of people in its broad lines. Between the two extremes of the marketplace and sleeping room, a great variety of spaces for each defined kind of social meeting bring together specific groups and others that cater to a demand varying rhythmically over time in a daily, weekly, or yearly cycle. The same as in the city, just on a smaller scale, can be observed in a well-designed house, spaces for meeting in groups, spaces for dialogue, space for defined temporal functions, space for movement, for relaxing, and for rest in isolation to form a subtle orchestration.

The inhabited and designed spaces have distinctive sounds. The sound may be discerned as invisible or unconsciously, but that does not make it any less an architectural material than wood, glass, concrete, stone, or light. 

Big rooms in offices with glass buildings with cubicle rows have people staring at gizmos. While the reading rooms at libraries have an overlay of rich sound.

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https://www.deltalight.com/en/inspiration/all-projects/project/offices-mallol-architecture-pa-3004
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https://www.readitforward.com/gallery/beautiful-libraries-world/

The ear-shutting NY City subway platforms while a relatively silent station in Paris with trains sliding on whooshing wheels. 

Klangturm, the Sound Tower situated in Switzerland on the lakeshore of Biel / Bienne is an example of a walk-in whirl of sound through lofty heights and generates the interplay of light and sound.

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http://www.klangturm.ch/

Tvísöngur, Iceland is a concrete structure of five vaulted domes which amplify resonance distant from each other and produce a five-tone traditional harmony.

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https://old.visitseydisfjordur.com/project/tvisongur-sound-sculpture/

The Music Hall at the Āli Qapu Palace, in Iran, constructed of mud bricks, has magnificent vaulted ceilings which are ideal for low reverberation of sound.

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Denge sound mirrors, in the UK, 20 to 200 feet wide concrete forms are warning devices used due to their sonic qualities.

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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/england/kent/articles/denge-sound-mirrors-kent/

High line, New York- Public and private spaces can be noisy, grim, and enervating. But having the 30 feet lofty surroundings, it gives a glimpse of escaping the city through the change in the sonic environment.

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https://www.timeout.com/newyork/parks/highline

“You feel that your life is being lost in a room where sound dies, we need reverberation.” -Renzo Piano.

Author

Manvi Khandelwal, a 20-year-old, is an architecture student. She had been passionate for architecture, since her childhood. She always thought of architecture as a way of living life, apart from designing spaces. She loves to dance, and to her architecture is a choreography of volumes to define her environment.

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