Seeing Through Sound: New Site Visualizes the Audio of Famous Interiors


A recently-launched website offers a new way of seeing some of New York’s most iconic structures: through sound. SOUNDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE is a collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities and the Department of Architecture at the University of Virginia. The project uses sound culled from the interiors of the city’s buildings to generate psychedelic, screensaver-esque animations.

Visitors are greeted by a virtual “sound street,” currently occupied by the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, the Seagram Building, the Guggenheim, and Grand Central Terminal. Selecting one of the elevations triggers an animation that visualizes a 60-second sound clip deemed to be characteristic of the aural experience of the given space. These animations are accompanied by new musical compositions that riff on the initial recordings and analytical diagrams of each site.

The project, headed by UVA professor Karen Van Lengen, has plans to add additional buildings as it develops.

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