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OPEN Architecture design soulful "Chapel of Sound" in China

by Andrew Manns | 15 Feb 2019

Chinese architecture practice OPEN have unveiled renderings of the Chapel of Sound – a cavernous amphitheatre currently under construction north of Beijing, outside the city of Chengde.

The 790 sq m, roofless structure – shaped to resemble the curvilinear appearance of mollusc shells and human ears – will function as a concert venue and community space.

The Chapel will also feature as a kind of temple to nature, providing panoramic views of the countryside and inviting visitors to meditate on their surroundings.

In a statement, OPEN said: "When there is no scheduled concert – no choir or instruments playing – the hall still remains a destination where one can quietly listen to the sound of birds singing, insects chirping, gentle breezes rustling through nearby trees, or rain dropping on the floor."

This contemplative and participatory aspect was one of several attributes of the project that was recognised at this year's Progressive Architecture (P/A) Awards.

OPEN – one of the ceremony's ten honourees – was awarded a citation for their design concept.

Claire Weisz, P/A jury member and the founding principal of WXY Studio, called the project a "different paradigm" that reinterprets the purpose of building types, creating "a sound experience that anyone can take part in".

Developed by Chinese company Aranya, the Chapel is anticipated to be completed this fall.

Open Architecture  Chapel of Sound  Chengde  China 
Chinese architecture practice OPEN have unveiled renderings of the Chapel of Sound – a cavernous amphitheatre currently under construction north of Beijing, outside the city of Chengde. The 790 sq m, roofless structure – shaped to resemble the curvilinear appearance of mollusc shells and human ears – will function as a concert venue and community space. The Chapel will also feature as a kind of temple to nature, providing panoramic
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The cultural venue will also function as a temple to nature. / Courtesy of OPEN Architecture
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