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Acoustic Territories

Part 2 Project 2014
Jonathan Woodward
Kingston University, UK
Set in the northern Portuguese city of Guimarães, the project involves and enjoys the theatricality of the Medieval city. A long standing festival named the ‘Nicolinas’ becomes a foreground to a building conceived as a collage of cultural and tectonic references. The epiphany of the Nicolinas sees a thousand drummers following an uprooted pine tree through the Medieval streets of Guimarães, until it is planted in the Square of São Gualter. The proposed building holds the longest length of this square and makes a finely rendered 15 meter tall granite wall. The wall is conceived as an acoustic mirror with large polished curvatures altering the sound made, reflecting it and projecting it outwards and upwards. The sounds of the city are also collected by this wall, as you stand within the curvatures you begin to hear sounds from the distance, the façade becomes a device to hear the city.

The project draws through a descending scale of experience, from the bowl-like topography, to the Medieval city, into external rooms, through ceremonial routes, to end in a sequence of acoustic chambers.

The proposed building is a school of music, making a large relation to traditional and vernacular forms of music. Percussion plays a leading role in the school with varying scales of acoustic rooms providing space for rehearsal, recording and performing. Contemporary trends of music found in the city are also embraced, with specific rooms made for classical and jazz musical practice. A sequence of public rooms occupy the threshold between two existing external spaces, a public square, and a garden in the landscape. This internalised route connects the city to the landscape, and the music school to civic and cultural events.

Jonathan Woodward


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