The Architecture of Music

The project “The Architecture of Music” is one of our research projects and deals with the relationship between the disciplines of architecture and music.

The fascination for both disciplines, as well as the education as musician and architect led to investing comprehensive thoughts on this subject in 1998 during an internship with Peter Eisenman in New York. The ancient Greeks had philosophized about the analogies of the two disciplines, as well as Goethe, Le Corbusier and many other personalities dealt with the issue and expressed their thoughts. Schopenhauer said “Architecture is frozen music”, and Siegfried Gidieon wrote: “You can read every facade as a musical score”. A book called “Digital Mantras” brought us to develop alongside the conceptual thought a possible physical link between the disciplines by means of computers and software.

Through a collaboration with Dr. Christian Patron, who did a doctorate in the subject area of Augmented Reality at the time, it was possible to establish a precise communication between the software worlds of the two disciplines. This was achieved by using a third program developed by us which permits a translation of the relevant data from one to the other world. Thus it is possible to transfer musical notes into spatial objects, but also very different approaches of translation can be defined.

We have patented these tools and already used for a number of projects. On the one hand we are working on free, sculptural works that were shown in the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel on the subject of architecture and music. On the other hand this concept inspires our architectural and interdisciplinary projects, such as the facade of the UNESCO building in Bahrain, the US National Anthem, the project for the Bath Mythenquai, the FORUM Wall etc. We have been reporting on the results of our research in a number of presentations and universities lectures, as well as a TED Talk in 2012.

More information: www.jhh.ch