Liz Galvez, Critic

Core II Studio, Spring 2023

Design for a center for the study and performance of sacred music in Museumpark, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on the site of OMA’s Kunsthal. This project explores the auditory properties of a constructed landscape, taking inspiration from sacred caves throughout history, wherein the sinusodal geometry of the cavern causes sound to echo in phase, creating a natural space for the amplification and proliferation of sound. Forms derived from these caves surround a program of more formal spaces for the study and production of music - classrooms, archives, and rehearsal spaces, all building to a concert hall on the south end of the building. 

These cavernous corridors create another informal program in between the formal spaces: as they expand and contract, each corridor creates a larger space for informal performance, with the sounds from that space echoing through the rest of the hallway in harmonic phase. The niches in the texture of the exposed 3D-printed rammed-earth concrete allows sound to reverberate in its creases. 

The roof of this project serves as a means of mediating the Museumpark with the residential neighborhood across the S100. Partere-like mounds emerge, shaped by the massing of the rammed-earth concrete walls of the caverns; these mounds serve as funnels for each of the formal and informal performance spaces below, creating a sound-garden on the building’s green-roof and forming unique soundscapes as inhabitants wander through. 

This project aims to intensify these existing forms of interchange, creating a vibrant hub for educational and cultural programming. On a base level, the project is designed to accommodate the various scales of circulation that exist on this site, in a manner that, in turn, creates a space that is interchangeable and adaptable. Depending on the season and time of day, these transport spaces transform into an interchange for goods, for books, for foods, for ideas — for languages and cultures alike.