What Do Buildings Sound Like?

Short Answer:

Good buildings sound quiet.

Long Answer:

A concrete frame transmits the pounding of a pneumatic drill all the way into your bones.  A wooden box can project the vibration from strings into the air around it.  Played in a concert hall, the tone can be flavored by the room’s timber lining.  A stone vault is the strongest voice in the choir, and the empty echo of a vacated room fills anyone with melancholy.  When a home is undressed, it loses its private sounds. Quality also has a more objective tone: just as the sound a car door makes when you close it indicates the quality of the chassis, solid rooms respond to our presence with a reassuringly substantial voice, but only when spoken to.  Well-conceived buildings don’t jabber.

Rasmus Waern & Gert Wingardh