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Audio Gallery

Part 1 Project 2008
Andrew Watts
University of Lincoln, UK
The project focuses on the manipulation of sound, the building design is for an Audio Gallery sited on the edge of Jemaa el Fna Square, Marrakech the busiest marketplace in North Africa.
The project was generated through the exploration of a loudspeaker as an object and the resultant sounds emitted by it this was further elaborated on through sound recordings and analysis as part of my site analysis. A number of investigations were undertaken to help inform this process; dissection of the speaker, casting of the speaker followed by dissection of the casts, the recording of sound. The culmination of this being the construction of an installation, designed to map sound waves and allow a coding of the results, the objective being to use all of the collected material to develop an architectural language.
The context of Morocco was integral to the design, the intention being to allow the building to be informed by its context. This became about the noise and sounds I experienced particularly in the vicinity of my site, they were sounds I’d never really heard before but which were still very familiar. This incredibly rich experience led to the development of my brief as an Audio Gallery.
The gallery consists of a series of spaces wrapping around and penetrating through one another, centring on a silent vault in the middle. The intention was to combine a sense of the chaotic architecture of the nearby Souks, but focusing it through an architectural language already established in my initial investigations. As with the Souks an important factor is the users themselves, every sound created affects the building, either in that location, or elsewhere in the gallery. My intention was to create an audio vault and amplifier as a building, to capture the amazing sense of place that is generated by the noise in the Square and Souks.

Andrew Watts

Andrew’s project crackles with the exuberance of a student discovering a new country and culture. His project is predicated on an examination of the contemporary cultural conditions of Morocco as explored and discovered during the unit’s trip to Marrakech, it pays full cognisance to these discoveries. Blending his studio investigation into audio speaker construction and sound installation with his buildings design. His building becoming a series of sound stages that amplify, modify or eradicate the cacophony of sound, which emanates from the Jemaa el Fna Square.
Programmatically the building sits edgily between the traditional use for that site, which is cafes, teahouses and restaurants and a very contemporary view on performance space and potential visual and acoustic interactions with the square. The resultant design is a cross between the sense of spatial chaos experienced in the souks off the Square and a western sense of order and minimalism, the tension between the two creating a unique set of spaces and a unique project.

Mr Saleem Al-Mennan
Mr Richard Wright
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