Sound Structure's cables in tension are bowed by slow-rotating motors—the two cables which hold the hinged frame in space produce harmonies which allow its occupant to listen to its position in space. As its turnbuckles are adjusted, one steel cable becomes longer as the other grows shorter and due to the battery powered mechanism the harmonics of these structural elements are able to express themselves through sound. The hollow aluminium sections acoustically amplify the structure's position in space when its natural resonant frequencies are tuned into position—the structure is not complete when it is assembled, but rather the architect must engage in a tuning process to find positions which create resonant atmospheres for those standing within.
Sited on the cable pedestrian bridge just off the Cornell University campus, the subtle movements of the site itself cause the sound structure to shift, providing an audible experience of live loads on multiple scales, reminding us that the built environment is constantly negotiating vibrations.
Advised by Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri and Pe Lang
Installation Assistance from John Lai and Lizzy Dean
Ithaca, New York