Chimes Pavilion – Finalist Award

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The Chimes Pavilion was named a finalist at the 2013 China International Architecture Biennial. It is a 15 x 15 meter wind-activated music box formed from clusters of modular bamboo chimes.  The primary intention of the installation is for a choir of chimes to encourage passersby to engage with the daring structural form, with sound, and with light.  The hum of multiple chimes ringing in unison is a symbol of the individual voices in a crowd unifying, becoming something different and richer together.

Padded mallets catch the wind to make a soft, pretty sound. The mallets are the active part of the system and achieve two goals. The chimes are made more durable by fixing them in place, and the amount of surface area the wind can catch is reduced. The resulting inviting sound beckons the visitor to come and reflect and rest in the shade.  At night the chime boxes light when their chimes ring, creating a multi-sensory display.

The form is inspired by the C major 7 chord: the four notes that define it give shape to the front, the back, and the interior. Its non-orthogonal shape catches the wind differently depending on how it blows, so it is always changing. The dynamic form, undefined by a front, allows the pavilion to be approached from any side. A grid structure supports the chime boxes, carrying loads to the ground through 3 connection points in a C-frame. This insures that the cantilever is rigid and touches the earth lightly.