Sound describes the character of space and informs about it, its limits and extensions. It can transform the identity of a place and restructure it. Being conscious about the significance of architecture beyond its spatial dynamics, this work develops direct links between architectural space and memory. Elements of time and decay are represented through the concept of sound mapping and soundscape, putting emphasis on the sonic representation of specific location.
As a reaction to both spatial and historical context, the experimental theatre of Tripoli designed by Oscar Niemeyer has been used as a sound performance space due to its unique acoustic qualities. Abandoned since the Lebanese civil war, the concrete shell creates intense sound refraction and reverberating echoes. Employing a process of reactivating a sleeping place and give back voice to it, the reinforcement bars hanging from the dome are triggered in order to produce an intense clinking noise. Since the building is flooded, soundwaves bounce repeatedly between the concrete cupola and the water surface, forming space vibrations. With steel rods bouncing and hitting on each other, space is occupied by these violent shakes that are reminiscent of conflict and instability as sound changes constantly. Through these vibrations, sound is converted to a sense of touch, creating the acoustic signature of the building that stands as a landmark of abandonment.