Site and Sound
The Architecture and Acoustics of New Opera Houses and Concert Halls
By Victoria Newhouse
(Monacelli Press, Hardcover, 9781580932813, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
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Victoria Newhouse, noted author and architectural historian, addresses the aesthetics and acoustics in concert halls and opera houses of the past, present, and future in this stunning companion to the highly regarded Towards a New Museum. Site and Sound explores the daunting, perennial question: Does the music serve the space, or the other way around?
Heavily illustrated throughout—with historic images, spectular color photographs, detailed drawings—this volume is an informed and enjoyable presentation of a building type that is at the heart of cities small and large.
Newhouse starts with a survey of venues from ancient Greek and Roman times and progresses to contemporary works around the world. She singles out Lincoln Center in particular for its long history and its transitions and remodelings over the years. Two major chapters cover the present: one focuses on recent work in the West, including the National Opera House of Norway in Oslo by Snøhetta (2008), the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal, by Rem Koolhaas (2005), and many more; the second examines the boom in concert halls in China. A final chapter looks at projects that are currently planned and the future of an architecture for music.