The former drinking water house in Via Giacosa is an old building, and as such, brings on its decades of memories and the practical issues that come with them.
The building is missing several components, such as a portion of the central staircase, which leave the water house hollow and impossible to use. What was once filled with water, is today filled with darkness, since all the windows of the building have been permanently closed. This is the setting where Echo comes to life.
Site Inspection, Former Waterhouse, 2015. Massimo Melloni, Luca Tajè
WATER AS A UNIVERSAL SOUND
Among the most important sound archetypes stands the eternal roar of water.
Since ancient times man has always identified the one of water as a known sound, a safe one, well distinguishable in all its different forms.
The concept at the base of the redevelopment of the water house, is based on the different nuances that the sound of water can take.
The choice to turn the building into an experiential and sonorically immersive exhibition space falls not only on the universal nature of man’s relationship with noise, but also in memory of the pre-existence of the building, the house of water.
Water is therefore not only the expedient to tell about sound, but is first and foremost an echo of the history of the building.
The façade installation modifies the gutters to give water the possibility to be an element of sound generation. The position and the inclination of the curves of the pipes take up the elements of the façade, highlighting its shapes. The colours and the arrangement along the entire façade enhance the internal intervention on the house of water and bring out its “musical” vocation. The choice of location along the east and south elevations is determined by the need to make the house visible from different focal points. The southern façade, in fact, is visible from the beginning of Via Giacosa and along its entire path.
The main installation, called “Echo”, occupies the main space.
Here, sound can reach the listener in two different ways: through the direct sound wave or through the reflected sound wave. When the reflection is delayed by over 70 meters square it is perceived as an echo.
Taking full advantage of the thirteen meters of the double-height volume of the building and thanks to the use of concave surfaces, you get the echo effect by concentrating the sound at the center of the volume of the space itself. With the lowering of the concave surface to 7 meters you can instead get a different sound effect, that allows you to use space as an environment for research and development of experimental music, thanks to the reverberation sound.