ERA21 #01/2023 Architecture and Sound

kniha editorial


Filip Landa

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kniha completed project

New Relations. Renovation and Modernisation of the Slovak National Gallery Complex in Bratislava »

Martin Kusý, Pavol Paňák / Architekti B.K.P.Š.

For the Slovak National Gallery building, a thorough renovation was long overdue—at least since the 2001 emergency closure of the exhibition space in the Bridging, a 1970s extension by architect Vladimír Dedeček connecting two opposite wings of the Gallery. Another part of the Gallery, the permanent exhibition this time, was closed off in 2012 due to inadequate conditions for the artwork. Finally, the library and the offices were shut down that same year. The renovation reconnects the disrupted functional relations, both inside the complex and with the neighbouring public areas. The main entrance axis from the old building’s courtyard is reaffirmed in the current layout, while a new axis, generated by Dedeček’s orthogonal grid, connecting the Gallery with the city centre, is integrated. Natural pedestrian paths are allowed to enter the ground floor and the courtyard. The Gallery becomes an open and welcoming institution.

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Magnifico. Architecture in Music »

Charles Brooks

What look like strange rooms of cathedral-like proportions or bold contemporary architecture are actually musical instruments captured using special cameras and complex imaging techniques. A miniature probe lens can access the insides of precious instruments; each photo is then blended together from hundreds of frames, giving it a level of detail and a depth of field suggestive of a much larger space. This way the interiors of musical instruments reveal their makers’ marks, repairs carried out through the centuries, and the hidden architecture within.


What Is Good Sound. Acoustic Solutions in Architectural History »

Anna Kvíčalová

Philosophers, architects, orators and musicians had studied the laws of spatial propagation of sound for a long time before the mathematical formula for reverberation was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. Throughout history, communities tried to improve the sound quality of theatres, churches and concert halls according to their needs, striving for the ideal “good sound,” nevertheless, architectural solutions often worked with just a limited understanding of the basic laws of acoustics, and mixed together both the empirical and cosmological approach to sound.


The Concert Halls’ Time »

Vendula Hnídková

It's the concert halls’ time in Czechia right now. It this very moment, several ambitious architecture projects are in various states of development in Brno, Ostrava and Prague. In the meantime, the multi-purpose Pavilion Z in České Budějovice has been restored to be able to also accommodate concerts of the South Czech Philharmonic. To be able to formulate an informed opinion about our local approach to new music venues, we bring an overview of several major international projects completed in the last decades.

completed project

Sforzando. Renovation of the Villa Marteau and Underground Concert Hall Extension in Lichtenberg »

Peter Haimerl . Architektur

It was at the beginning of the 20th century, when Henri Marteau, the world-renowned violinist, had his private villa built in Bavaria’s Lichtenberg. The town was roughly the same distance from all major European cities where Marteau either performed or taught. To this day, musicians from all over the world meet in his three-story Heimatstil style residence. It is now the seat of the Haus Marteau education institution dedicated to the preservation and continuation of the famous musician’s legacy, with generous support of the Upper Franconia region. A small concert hall has been added recently to the renovated villa, concealed underground and barely noticeable in the rolling garden landscape. The stainless steel frame of the upper entrance is the only visible part. The concert hall connects directly with the residence through an underground tunnel. The interior design of the hall was inspired by local mining tradition and is reminiscent of stone-quarry blasting. The thirty three granite “fragments” have a special acoustic function as sound-reflecting panels.

completed project

Con brio. The Otakar Jeremiáš Concert Hall Renovation in České Budějovice »


The South Czech Philharmonic had been using the old St. Anne’s church in České Budějovice as its main venue since 1988. The concert hall, named after the composer and conductor Otakar Jeremiáš, proved lacking in terms of acoustics as well as ventilation, and a renovation was commissioned to remove some earlier ill-advised interventions and restore spatial symmetry. New minimalist elements underlining the original layout and structure of the church replaced the old acoustic drop ceiling, heavy suspension gallery and side balcony. The new interior design uses simple linear shapes and a limited colour and material palette. The white cloud-like acoustic canopy hanging from the ceiling is the most expressive part of the design.

kniha interview

Architecture Resonated. Petr Hájek Interviewed by Filip Landa »

Petr Hájek is one of those architects who take the sound aspects very seriously in their work. Always focused on acoustics, ever since the first HŠH architects’ projects, he’s not afraid to have the building’s main conceptual idea guided by it. But recently his interest in sound and music peaked when he took to the stage with an experimental musical composition, as co-author alongside notable musicians and conductors. Current projects, his students’ peculiar studio assignments, or composed architecture and urbanism were all things discussed in our conversation with Petr Hájek.

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How Cities Used to Sound and What We Hear Today? »

Miloš Vojtěchovský

It might not seem like it at first, but actually, sound is omnipresent: since the Big Bang to this very moment something has always hummed, thundered, rustled, crackled, creaked and rattled, joining the past, present and future inextricably together. Sound fields and waves, rhythms, vibrations and resonances are continuous and essential characteristics of time-space, energy and matter. Sure, sound is seemingly invisible and fickle. But at the same time it is highly substantial, determining and shaping our physical, social and mental environments in the same way as light, heat or gravity.


Architecture of New and Experimental Music »

Jiří Janďourek

There are many ways to study the relationship between architecture and music. We can focus on either the composition principles, or on proportions and their mathematisation, or on trying to grasp both disciplines with the help of language theory and the meaning of language. But the important and practical thing is to narrow down the topic and define one concrete section of music theory which can
be subsequently portrayed using spatial, visual or structural free form. This way a sort of interpretative conversion is established between music and architecture, where architecture is understood as the whole spectrum of spatial tectonic or atectonic expression. This time we will focus on the relationship between 3D space and the theoretical constructs of new and experimental music.

completed project

Nobilmente. New Education Centre of the Czech Philharmonic in Prague »

Pavel Nový, Vít Svoboda / 0,5 Studio

Since the end of last year, the new Education Centre in Prague’s Rudolfinum has been open for both children and adults. The Centre is located in the basement under the main foyer, replacing the old ticket office. The organisation of the layout therefore had to deal with space limitations as well as insufficient daylight access. Each of the three main spaces—Auditorium I, Auditorium II, and a Relaxation room—has a different character in order to support workshops using a two or three-stage teaching approach. The project is the winner of a 2018 invited competition. The Centre’s program attracts mostly preschoolers and elementary school pupils, but there are several workshops and chamber music concerts suitable for the general public as well.

completed project

Grandioso. House of Music Budapest »

Sou Fujimoto Architects

A new cultural landmark dedicated to music was opened last winter in the Budapest City Park. Its permanent exhibition provides an immersive journey through two thousand years of music making in Europe, while three new stages showcase a range of live music from classical to folk, pop to jazz. The dazzling new structure, with a vast undulating roof floating over a glazed ground floor, replaced the disused Hungexpo offices—large international fairs and exhibitions used to be held here in the City Park until the 1970s.


Naturale »

Ronald van der Meijs

By realising site-specific sound installations, new relationships between man, technology and nature are being researched. The sculptures are placed in carefully chosen public spaces and controlled by various natural processes—the intensity of sunlight, the flow of water, wind, or, just once a year, ripe acorns falling from the treetops and striking the field of metal bell caps down below. This way the unpredictable, slow and ever changing sound compositions reflect Nature’s own characteristics. A field of tension is created between desire and acceptance, which the viewer has to confront.


Office Acoustics, Part 1

Petr Novák


ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
Chleborádova 69/22, 619 00 Brno

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Projekt se v roce 2024 uskutečňuje za finanční podpory: Ministerstva kultury ČR, Nadace české architektury, Statutárního města Brna a Státního fondu kultury ČR.
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