The Zürich-Rotterdam-based architecture practice rotative studio (a collaboration between architects and urban designers Alexandra Sonnemans and Caterina Viguera) was invited by Zürich-based composer and musician Ramon Landolt, to create a pavilion in public space on the occasion of his project ‘Iced Sound’, for which he composed ‘music by and for glaciers’, through field recordings, algorithm processing and performances with various artists in Alpine glacier caves and crevasses.
The pavilion and its sound installation represents a glacier talking to the city. The sound installation embedded in the facades of the pavilion, interacts with the visitors and the surrounding urban soundscape.
One of the main themes of his project, transformation (or flux), formed an inspiration for and aligned with the focus of (the work of) the architects. The spatial expression of the pavilion reflects, and makes experienceable, that what we can not see, and in this case, hear; the story of unseen and unheard, fragile, landscapes, that are slowly, gradually, but also ever faster, changing, as a result of our own, human, action(s), which has major consequences for our planet. The pavilion, with its subjective acoustical and visual voice, embodies this tension, as a sonic exploration of the climate crisis.
The pavilion as a public room will remain on the Schiffbauplatz for a period of three weeks, so the sounds are accessible to all and listeners can approach the topic at their own pace, yet always in a simultaneity of urban and remote alpine sounds.
The interplay of space and sound is a continuation of earlier collaborations between rotative studio and Landolt, for example, the architects invited Landolt in 2019 to contribute to their research project Evidence of the Absent, that they developed in a one-year residency in (Kulturfolger) Zürich.
During this period Landolt will organize a series of performances in and around the pavilion, with invited musicians, who have performed Landolt’s compositions specifically written for the performer and the glacier where the performance has taken place.