Chamber Hall Threshold Design and Acoustic Surface Shaping with Parametric Modeling

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Virginia Tech

The architectural opportunity to develop the sound and light lock of a performance venue as a space that engages and prepares the audience for a performance is one that is sadly missing from most halls. I have explored the development of this threshold as a true architectural space, one that enhances the overall experience for the audience members. And by introducing a parametric process into the architectural and acoustic development, have proposed a unique process for the design of concert halls.

From physical model building to analysis by computer simulation, digital technology has undoubtedly advanced the realm of acoustic prediction. But common computer prediction programs that exist today are still essentially digitized applications of the analog model building process. Being: construct a model, analyze, make adjustments and repeat until the desired results are achieved. By implementing a parametric approach to model building it allows for design changes and the significance of those changes to be recognized in real time, an invaluable tool in the development of a sound-sensitive space.

Utilizing the 3D software Rhinoceros and its scripting plug-in Grasshopper, it becomes possible to easily visualize crucial first-order reflections relative to surfaces that can be controlled and manipulated in very precise ways. This software is becoming more popular amongst architects and designers, and the prediction process will be an extension of this software into the field of acoustics. By using software already in the design vernacular, there is a seamless transition between design and analysis, making for a more cohesive project

Threshold, Surface Shaping, Parametric Modeling, Acoustics