Designed by Flanagan Lawrence Architecture, 'Acoustic Shells', are reviving social life as an outdoor stage and a shelter in the sunken gardens of the Littlehampton coast of England.
The concept of the project is based on the culture of "bandstrands" which was held for the first time in 1861 in the Royal Gardens in South Kengsington.
The production and distribution of music started to be questioned as the new media trends of the 20th century became widespread. As the cinema and television activities in the parks and gardens lost their appeal, music in the other hand is now produced by everyone and can be played anywhere online or in public. According to Flagan Lawrence: '' In this context, Acoustic Shells bring back an old ideal, an architecture that can represent ‘sound’, and the people that made it.''
One of the two main shells serves as a reflective surface to project the sound of its performers on the stage to the audience in the garden, while the other shell faces the beach and forms a structure that visitors can stand under and listen to the sound of the sea.
The Shell was built by applying sprayed concrete directly on the mesh reinforcement, and the majority of the structure is only 100 mm thick as it relies on a double curved geometry spanning the stage.
These concrete sound mirrors, resembling white sand dunes, have been welcoming visitors since 2014, after winning an architectural competition in 2012.
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