The transcendental piano

MArch Thesis |  The University of Edinburgh  |  2009 – 2011

With its dynamic soundscape constantly in crescendo, Marseille stands in a position with great potential for either success or failure. If the urban implications of its polyphony are not fully considered, then each individual strand of musical expression will be lost within an acoustic cacophony. Current methods of designing for sound are quantitative and reductionist, creating an impoverished soundscape. In response to this, a method of constructing the city is proposed that enables Marseille to become one of the most musically diverse and expressive cities in Europe.

In designing spaces for sound, the tectonics of the piano are used as a critical lens to understand Marseille as an assemblage of moments with precise roles; dampers, casing, soundboards, frames, tuners, and counterweights. The architectural projects – Dominican priory, concert hall, music school, and house for Liszt – transcend the material limits of the piano, using it as a metaphorical instrument for ordering space on the scale of a building.

The Marseille Piano  |  Urban scale acoustic strategy for Marseille

The transcendental studies  |  Casing

The transcendental studies  |  Counterweight

The transcendental studies  |  Damper

The transcendental studies  |  Tuner

The transcendental studies  |  Soundboard and frame