Architects are turning increasingly to scaled acoustical modeling to ensure good and predictable acoustics in new building designs. SoundLab is an "auralization room" developed by international engineering firm Arup at its offices in New York, London and Melbourne, Australia. SoundLab is a 150-square-foot, windowless space equipped with a pair of computers and walls lined with 12 speakers arranged in a sphere to simulate a three-dimensional sound field. the computers in the SoundLab use convolution software to analyze recordings made in other spaces with a four-channel microphone. This enables the SounbdLab to recreate those spaces with significant accuracy. Recently, Austrian architectural firm Coop Himmel-b(l)au used the SoundLab to reassure the Akron Art Museum in Ohio about a lobby pavilion design that will be added to the existing building. The concern was that hard glass surfaces would make the room too loud for lectures, live music and events. Using a three-dimensional computer model of the space, Arup developed a digital model that could simulate different uses of the space. The results were played back in SoundLab.
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