Le Cylindre Sonore

Via ArchDaily, by Oscar Lopez

Architect: Bernhard Leitner
Location: Paris, France
Project Year: 1987

Bernhard Leitner is one of the few, and in this assumes an important role, who pursue connections which constantly interact and combine, in order to fill our spaces with simultaneous attraction of the architectural and sonorous. As an architect and composer of sound he knows that perception includes sound material, which one has to learn to master, and the dynamic lines which make us see and enter built space.

Sound is not this undefined, unfocused envelope which subordinated us to the mastery of nature and from which there is no escape. Sound is measurable, it draws lines, builds walls and permeates according to architectural rules. This space in which we find ourselves, and which emanates from our bodies, unites our perceptions, our movement, and our ability to decode perceptions to which our various cultures assign varying interpretations.

Space and Sound have no definite spans of time. They stand for a transitory situation without end and create a continuum. Bernhard Leitner shows us a space for seeing and hearing which we take in and change. Even our breathing is part of this non-static architecture. His kinetic and architectural compositions reveal aspects of the world and constitute as defined spaces (receptacles for the body: Sound Space at the Technical University of Berlin, “Cylindre Sonore” in the Parc de la Villette) the potential for a new architecture which brings together the experience of the architect, the art of the composer and the determining will of the sculptor.

Le Cylindre Sonore is embedded in a bamboo garden, a valley-like, sunken landscape in the Parisian Parc de la Villette. A sound architecture commissioned and implemented as piece of public art, as intervention artistique, for the Section IV of the park. The upper end of the double cylinder is at the same level as the bordering allees. Coming from the park, one descends a long stairway into the sound space before actually entering the garden. On leaving it, one once again walks through the sound space before one ascends to the park situated on a higher level.

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