Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space

by | 18. Jul 2012

Cultural | Feature | Pavilions

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The “Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space” is a temporary mobile performance space for 300 visitors to be located on the Marstallplatz in the City of Munich. It is intended to be used for a wide range of events at the annual Opera Festival 2010 and then to travel to other locations.


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The design goal for the pavilion is to impact a unique soundscape by helping to reduce the apparent noise and to create a “zone of silence” next to the pavilion. Creating an absolute “zone of silence” is technically not possible, but this term used here is intended to describe an area where you can sense a change in the soundscape that gives the impression of a quieter environment.

This strategy for achieving this concept uses three mechanisms, firstly the shielding effect of the plaza to block sound from the road, secondly the shaping of the pavilion surface to collect and deflect sound and thirdly the material characteristic of the Pavilion surface to absorb and reflect sound.

The Pavilion’s spatial structure acts as a “transformator” that changes our perception and sensation of the soundcape and music on the plaza around the Pavilion and inside the performance space.
/Wolf D. Prix

Photo © Markus Pillhofer



Photo © Markus Pillhofer



Photo © Markus Pillhofer


Parallel to acoustical approaches and simulations, the generation of the form of the Pavilion was driven by the concept of materializing music into architecture. Selected sequences of songs become dynamic forces that transform and create spatial form. Analyzing the frequencies of the sound file and linking it to the computer generated 3D model, the scripting tool then parametrically transforms the shell into pyramid shapes like spikes. Music is frozen and creates architectural space.

To meet internal acoustics design objective, the proposal includes provision for a combination of perforated sound absorbing panels and pyramid-shaped, non-perforated sound diffusing panels on the side walls and ceiling, with a sound reflective floor and stage. Sound-reflective parallel surfaces between the side-walls and between the floor and ceiling are avoided here and are therefore tilted and rotated in relationship to the generated exterior shape.


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CITY Munich
ARCHITECT Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Volker Kilian
Sophie Grell