"A House Divided"
The design competition for the San Francisco House of Music was a vehicle for exploring conceptual ideas within the context of an architectural design
As a student of architecture with an interest in acoustics, I wonder: " Why does the manufacturer of acoustic treatment seem to have more impact on design than the architects?" This sparked the desire to explore finding the balance between acoustic performance and quality design.
Contemplate how these two conditions are different
An open window is considered a perfect absorber due to the fact the sound leaves, and doesn't come back. Can we think of air in a more technical sense to improve acoustics?
Water is a perfect reflector as a surface of a pond or lake. Could this inform architecture? Is a thin sheet of falling water still reflective??
Earth is a known insulator thermally and acoustically in mass. Could stone be used to be highly reflective in one spot, highly diffusive in another spot, and highly absorptive elsewhere? How can earth be organize to manipulate sound?
Thinking about Form
In concert halls, all too often do wall treatments and color palettes get out of hand. Other times the obsession for perfect reflections result in an army of angular surfaces. Simplifying the form has the ability to bring focus to the subject of focus, and the materiality of the space supporting . In order to emphasize the manipulation of natural materials, the form must be legible and avoid the temptation of becoming too busy.
Design of a Concert Space
The space has now become rectangular, and closer to shoebox-hall dimensions. The stadium-style seating is still present, and the idea of materiality starts to come into play.
The balcony is still too deep, and the hall may work well for rock concerts but may not be the best for a school of Music. (will surely remember the design for the future though!
The seperation of the wall plane from the floor and audience has made it past another iteration. The move is here to stay folks!
At this point, more research occured to see exactly what type of venues San Francisco already had, and whether It was worth duplicating ideas or striving for something unique
An acoustic problem that may occur with this balcony is known as an "acoustic shadow," which is quite literally represented by the light shadow seen in this image
This iteration simplified the overall geometry into a taller space, and featuring a dramatic floating tier contrasting the subtractive balcony on the side walls
The site is located within the historic Golden Gate Park
One can tell this park was designed with Olmsted ideals in mind from the picturesque curves and trails, to the man-made lakes, to the bridges
The site is also neighbors with the De Young Museum by Herzog & De Meuron as well as the Academy of Sciences by Renzo Piano
The site is a blank-slate of sorts. The only constraints seem to be the road, and the treeline
I modeled the space in CATT acoustics to determine ideal geometry, test different material properties, and hit performance criteria
All that attention to the inside had hurt development of the design as a whole, needing attention on the exterior.
The interior still aimed for architectural legibility so the materials could stand out and had started to achieve that
a flow of topography, and Gabion retaining walls
The Performance Block- a massive stone block within a lightweight glass block
Education Block- some practice rooms on display to the public while others like the ground floor rehearsal space remain solid
The outdoor stage and the cafe, with the cafe being "buried" underneath the lawn and the stage sitting at the bottom of a amphitheater.