Photography: Thomas Wing-Evans

British architect Thomas Wing-Evans has designed an interactive sound pavilion for the State Library of New South Wales that turns its collection of paintings into music.

The acoustic sculpture, dubbed 80Hz, has been built in collaboration with the Dx Lab in Sydney. It features a curved black timber frame that’s been clad with matt anodised aluminium singles that reverberate sound inside the pavilion.

Wing-Evans teamed up with Studio Sonar Sound to develop a software programme that translates the visual data from the paintings – including colour, tone, face detection, age, origins and subject – into sound waves and compositions.

Visitors can activate the pavilion by choosing a painting from a translucent film reel inside the structure and turning a hand-crank to listen to the image’s soundscape. The cladding is audio-reactive and glows when the music is played, turning the shelter into a beacon at night.

This Sydney pavilion turns paintings into music
Photography: Thomas Wing-Evans

80Hz is in situ until the end of the month, before it embarks on a tour of regional New South Wales.

Read next: 10 buildings with extraordinary acoustics

Betty is the Editor of The Spaces.

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