Form of visually stimulating experimental performance venue derived from the analysis of various musical frequencies
Designed by Coop Himmelblau for the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space is a theatrical urban structure designed to host a wide variety of experimental performances. With the capacity for 300 seated audience members or 700 standing spectators, the 1,790 sq m pavilion is dismountable, transportable and re-mountable whilst retaining a distinctive, unusual form.
The singular, geometric shape has been formed via ‘Soundscaping’. Coop Himmelblau explains: “As a starting point towards the abstraction of music into spatial form, a sequence from the song ‘Purple Haze’ by Jimi Hendrix and a passage from ‘Don Giovanni’ by Mozart were transcribed. Through the analysis of frequency, sections from these pieces of music and through the combination with the computer generated 3D model, the sequences are translated into pyramidal ‘spike constructions’ by means of parametric ‘scripting’.”
Soundscaping has been utilised in three ways: to realise the shielding effect between square and street; to shape the geometry of the Pavilion so that the surface deflects noise; and so that the structure’s surface reflects and absorbs sound. Internally, the interior walls and ceilings are formed of perforated absorbing and smooth reflecting sandwich panels, and are tilted or skewed to avoid or enhance sound reflection.
Inside the lounge is a light installation developed by cat-x which transforms the space by interacting with the sounds from the neighbouring Opera Pavilion. Thus, space is transformed into sound, sound is turned into light and light forms the structure, creating an abstracted mini opera feedback space.
The development of the acoustical elements was carried out together with the acoustics department of Arup; the applied construction and materials were arranged with Frener & Reifer. The completed Pavilion is a temporary building, only fully constructed in Munich during the summer months. During the remainder of the year, it is dismantled and stored offsite in preparation for the next opera festival season.