I wrote a blog previously introducing GIDE and what the project was all about and the route I was going to go down. My personal interests became evident, music and architecture. I found a very common link between the two - along the lines of rhythm, texture, tone and how they were interpreted in both forms differently.
I was very interested in sound and how sound was affected in differing environments, i.e in church building with ornate designs, hard materials and high ceilings. These environments created good acoustics and plenty reverberation. Then compared this with a dead room inside a recording studio with absorbent materials to completely deaden the sound. I took a sound recorder and compared the sound of a clap sequence in these rooms and different places in between as part of my research. This was useful to know the types of materials I would need to create the effect I would need in the space I was designing.
When researching I came across online Creative Dundee's cultural strategy - I first heard about this organisation when I went along to a Pecha Kucha night last year. I didn't know what else they did until I found this and realised a few different creative organisations around Dundee that were part of it i.e Dundee Rep theatre, Dundee Contemporary Arts, but I noticed there was a gap for a music related organisation. I decided this would be a good partnership for this project.
I found a location in the centre of town, currently used for Optical Express. This building seemed a perfect size, shape and site for my idea. I wanted to create a place that brought the people of Dundee closer together through the forms of architecture and music. The building has a ground floor, basement and mezzanine level. I felt the ground floor was appropriate for what I wanted to create, an environment where people felt welcome to walk into, a social area to sit in the town, where buskers felt free to play etc.
I found a quote during my research that said "Architecture is frozen music" and I just felt this was a good basis for my design. Subsequently I created a space which was to emulate music being played and it was as if all that movement was frozen in time and the people could wander round and absorb the atmosphere of real music being played and 'frozen music' captured in architecture.
Due to there being 3 levels, I decided to split the music aspects up between, social, personal + experiential.
The basement is a completely different vibe in that it has no natural light and made of completely different materials – much softer, more absorbent so instantly the people can sense a difference in the quality of sound in the atmosphere – a much more intimate feel. Included in this space are a few different pods known as anechoic chambers which blocks out all exterior noise so that people can feel free to shut themselves away to reflect and think and experience music in their own way. Through technology in this space the users can also plug in headphones and network globally.
The ground floor upon entry is for people to feel free to wonder in from the street to gather socially and to meet new people. The materials are all very hard, reflective materials to let the light ‘dance’ around the space. There is also many angular surfaces to enhance the acoustics and reverberation, whether it’s a busker or a conversation between two people. There are certain features I have left from the original character of the building such as a set of stairs that I glazed over to see down to basement. The idea here is that stairs can being linked with movement yet I have ‘frozen’ that action by allowing people to see the stairs but not use them for their intended purpose.
This is the mezzanine level over looking the ground floor, a place where people can walk through the lit pathway on the floor to find their own zone and ‘pause’ in between the structures. I wanted to create something where people felt a mixture of emotions (as different music types can make you feel similar) but also something that was simple, repetitive yet powerful so enhance the experience. They may also be able to leave their mark in this area to leave anonymous comments for the next passersby.
I summarised the project with this paragraph:
Creative Dundee is an organisation that strives to make Dundee a place that is known for its creativity. However, they are yet to explore the art of music as a form of developing a rich cultural atmosphere amongst the people of the city. Music is a universal language that can connect people both locally and globally and is imperative in defining a way of life. Pause is a physical space that aims to inspire the local community through the idea of ‘frozen music’ as the design captures and reflects the many different aspects of music. The space is designed to stimulate people in becoming interested in architecture and music, and be encouraged to ‘pause’ and appreciate them both, as they discover the link between the two within the space. This environment will allow Dundonians to experience other cultures as the space emulates differing styles of music through the audible sounds and the visible sights within the space thus enhancing their world perspective and outlook on life.
Here is the image of my final sheet_