GALLERY: Architecture students build giant megaphones to amplify forest sounds (1)

8/24/2015 12:36 PM
Category: Environment

This week, interior architecture students from the Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA) began construction of a wooden installation consisting of three giant megaphones, which will be placed in the forest near the RMK Pähni Nature Centre, in Võru County, and will be open to testing by everyone.

According to the Head of the Interior Architecture Faculty of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Hannes Praks, the wooden horns, each with a diameter of three metres, act as megaphones for the forest. When sitting inside them, one can hear amplified forest sounds. “An additional experience will be offered by placing the horns at the proper distance and correct angle in nature, in such a way that a unique surround sound effect is created within the centre of the horns, where the voices coming from three different directions blend together,” Praks said.

Valdur Mikita, a writer and semiotician, who was also involved in the undertaking, said the created architectural solution will help listeners to focus on both the richness of sound as well as the silence of the forest, both of which are signs of Estonia in the best possible sense. “This is a place where one can leaf through the “book of nature”, Mikita said about the horns, first of their kind in Estonia's forests.

According to Marge Rammo, Head of the Nature Management Department at RMK, the megaphones offer shelter and a place of reflection for the wanderer; although, a less demanding hiker can also spend the night in them. “Their location near the RMK Pähni Nature Centre also enables us to use them as an innovative open-air classroom and carry out nature education programs and smaller cultural events,” he added.

The horns will be completed in August, at the Estonian Academy of Arts workshop in Tallinn, after which they will be transported to Võru County. The installation will be opened in September, whereupon it will be available to everyone for testing.

The project was launched a year ago, when the first year students from the Department of Interior Architecture, together with Valdur Mikita, conceptualized a forest library for the forests of South-Estonia. Thereafter the students studied the forest landscape around Pähni and developed their designs for the most suitable objects for the location. The author of the design selected for construction is Birgit Õigus.

The students were instructed by architects Aet Ader, Karin Tõugu, Kadri Klement, and Mari Hunt from the architecture office b210, according to whom the carrying out of one’s ideas is important to design education. “We are pleased to see the entire course working together as a single construction brigade, and we believe that completion of the term project will also serve to inspire others to test their bold ideas in the future.”

M. Oll

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