Concert Halls: Acoustics, Materials & Design

Vanessa Liwanag
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Algorithms and sound wave tracking technology have led to a metamorphosis in modern concert halls to produce a richer experience for the audience.

The swirling walls of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Hamburg’s newest, were designed by Herzog and De Meuron. While it may resemble an abstract work of art, its acoustics, with the curves helping to diffuse the music, are more the result of mathematics. Benjamin Koren of One to One Studio developed the algorithms to meet the requests of renowned acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota.

“Architects and engineers come to us when complex geometries are involved,” Koren told ArchiExpo e-Magazine in a phone interview.

As a translator between architect professionals and contractors, Koren’s experience helps bring virtual drawings to life. The various players, from designers to builders, often struggle to work together for a number of reasons. Many times “architects are unfamiliar with the latest available tools,” as Koren explained.

Listen to Benjamin Koren speak about the enjoyable collaboration on the Elbphilharmonie, notably the design of the acoustic panels, in the Soundcloud clip below.

Courtesy of Guiding Architects
Courtesy of Guiding Architects

Berlin’s Konzerthaus. Image via Cole Jarman

Philharmonie de Paris by architect Jean Nouvel

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Grand Opening - Behind the Scenes

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