Welcoming The Sound Of Silence!

November 15, 2011

It has been a busy week this week at EMquaters so far, yesterday we attended the Social Media Forum in Abu Dhabi, whilst we had a riveting time and picked up some wonderful hints and tips from the UAE’s finest social media experts one of the most memorable themes of the day was also the least popular. Throughout the conference we could hear this incessant droning noise from a machine next to the forum space; in fact I can still hear it now ringing in my ears.

I really wanted to write a piece on the forum today to highlight some of the great topics that were discussed including some of the outrageously humorous sound bites courtesy of Arto Joensuu, Yousef Tuqan and Meredith Tuqan, however as this monotonous drone kept me awake most of the night I was hit with the idea of writing about a project that is all about creating a harmonised acoustic environment, we are an Interior Design firm after all. Our foray in social media commentary might have to wait a day or two as “Interior’s Come First” (had to throw in a sound bite of our own for good measure)

Today’s feature project is The Cave Restaurant in Sydney, designed by Koichi Takada Architects. The designers have created a space that aims to change the way we eat and converse over dinner, the architectural form and structure of this space has been created in such a way so as it harnesses the sound levels within the room. Thus creating a much more controlled and subtle atmosphere where diners can eat and chat without having to put up with the usual negative resonance associated with busy and compact restaurants such as that plate that smashes in the kitchen or the ignorant and brash sales man on the phone at the table next to you with the self-important mannerisms or the couple on a date trying to resolve their differences and give their relationships “that one last go”.

As always I am guilty of hyperbole but you get my drift. Unpleasant acoustics can really play havoc with your senses at times as yesterday proved for the hundred or so people at the forum, to see a design that has taken this into consideration as well as creating a stunning piece of interior architecture and design really pushes our design buttons.  From the images below you can see how the idea behind the acoustics has created a spectacular architectural feature, this teamed with the ambient lighting that creates protruding shadows and the soft colour pallet in this intimate space are all favourite design elements for us but perhaps the last say on the idea behind this project should come from the designers themselves.

Koichi Takada Architects:

We aim to change the way we eat and chat in restaurants. The acoustic quality of restaurants contributes to the comfort and enjoyment of a dining experience.

We have experimented with noise levels in relation to the comfort of dining and the ambience a cave like environment can create. The timber profiles generate a sound studio atmosphere, and a pleasant ‘noise’ of dining conversation, offering a more intimate experience as well as a visually interesting and complex surrounding.

The series of acoustic curvatures were tested and developed with computer modelling and each ‘timber grain’ profile has been translated and cut from computer-generated 3-D data, using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology

Have a look at the images below and let us know what you think about this project, our lasting view of it is that in creating the space and focusing on the acoustic elements Koichi Takada Architects have not only created an inviting arena where we can enjoy a better chinwag and a more pleasurable experience they have also created a wonderfully innovative and stunning piece of interior design.

All Photography Credited to Sharrin Rees