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Tempo Reale - Villa Strozzi - Via Pisana 77 50143 Firenze
Scientific & Music Program May 20-22 2011



Ida RECCHIA Soundscapes: qualities of space, architectural codes

The theme of “sound”, considered as a quality parameter of built space, introduced by Canadian studies (Murray Schafer, 1977) and started even before by the collaborators of K. Lynch at M.I.T. (Southworth, 1969), it is today perpetrated by a numerous research contexts (Chelkoff, 1990) (Blesser, 2007). In addition to the products of these researches, we can find a series of architectural projects that reveals the integration of sound parameters as generative and aesthetic factors in architectural design. On the one hand the researches try to build a "vocaboulary" of recognizable situations involving the interaction between sound and space, and on the other hand it is put into practice a renewed sensitivity to the sound that become one of the objectives of the architectural project. Built space is conceived as a place of sound events that can become an aesthetic quality controlled by the project. Considered these current design experiments is therefore necessary to ask a question: can sound be interpreted today as a "code" for the architectural project? Is it possible to reconstruct a set of attitudes, situations and conditions for the integration of sound as an aesthetic parameter in architecture?
The list of examples of sound-oriented architectures, which implements the use of sound as "material" of design, gives us a the impression of being certainly inhomogeneous: these spaces are "experimental" just like little temporary pavilions, they are museum space applications, or in rarer cases, they are examples of applications for the housing space, or they are sound gardens modeled using wind, water and plant essences. Considering all these various situations, the integration of sound in design seems to be an emerging theme, sometimes still uncertain. Often the sound-oriented architectures are to be found among the works of young designers who set much of their research on these issues, or are to be found in the experience of “masters” of architecture as a sign of wide maturity in consolidated design practice. Then the sound seems to be a theme that demonstrate a full consciousness of space, it is the theme of maturity, or the theme from which start a younger and renewed architectural approach. The theme of sound as an aesthetic component is simultaneously a natural reference to the ancient knowledge of building with a sound sensibility and a new approach of architecture in searching of a new livability of space, which put in relation the built environment and its users. Sound is a theme that emerges in a time when many languages seem to run out their course. With this work we intend to demonstrate how sound may fall into the architectural project today, as an aesthetic and generative component, and, in particular, we want to highlight what are the modalities of integration of sound in design process.

Ida Recchia,
PhD in Quality of Design - International PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning. She is author of articles and essays on architectural themes.

Southworth, M., The sonic environment of cities, «Envirornment and Behaviour», vol.1, n.1, giugno 1969, p.49-70
Schafer M.,The Tuning of the World, Toronto, 1977 trad. it., Il paesaggio sonoro, Ricordi e Lim editrice, 1985
Dandrel L. et al., L’architecture sonore, construire avec le sons, PUCA, collection recherches, 2000
Chelkoff G. et al., Prototype sonore architectureaux, rapport de recherché n°60, 2003
Blesser B., Salter, L.R., Spaces Speak, Are you Listening ? Experiencing Aural Architecture, MIT press, 2006

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