U play: Column Pavilion

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Program: Research, Sustainable Urban Space Design, Public Space, Pavilion, Installation, Public Building, Architecture, Urban Landscaping


Year: 2013-2014

Status: Unbuilt

Design: Cecilia Dobos

Awards: Nomination to Archiprix TU Delft, Best Graduations 2014 at TU Delft

“Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.” 
John Cage. The Future of Music: Credo

From research to design, my graduation project focused on exploring one of the immaterial phenomena of space: sound. In this project I studied and tested how sound challenges the limits of architecture and how architecture affects the sound of space. During the research and design I was seeking to explore the aesthetic significance of sound in relation to space and body.

Having taken from the research the phenomena of absorption and amplification (reflection), I used experimental models to test how these opposing qualities can be spatialized. I concluded that absorption is layering. Amplification as a spatial phenomenon can be understood as a multiplication or repetition of a single architectural element which not only visually but also sonically amplifying (extending) the perceived space. The recurrence of the same spatial element not only amplifies the space, but it also dissolves boundaries, blurs where material and the immaterial begins and ends, binding the invisible and the visible character of space into one notion: space, sound and body.

Columns, a fundamental architectural element that defines the solids and voids in the space, is by nature a theatrical spatial artifact. Sound created by the reverberation of the columns is an interactive, emotive and performative medium of space. The thin structure of the columns blur boundaries and create a sense of disorientation in a similar way to the overlapping of many sounds in space, especially in the case of Istanbul. 

The column pavilion is a dynamic pause in the urban dissonance emphasizes the relationship between sound, space and body, engaging the public in a playful kinetic spatial design while offering an immersive ‘silence’. It genuinely invites the visitor for interaction, for a play, while creating a rich visual and sonic atmosphere.

Site plan showing 2km context. The Column Pavilion is implemented in a large concrete paved public square.

Plan shows both the columns and the urban landscaping of the lighting built into the pavement and the water fountains embedded in the floor.

Lighting plan built into the pavement.

Site plan showing 2km context. The Column Pavilion is implemented in a large concrete paved public square.

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