Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Stanley Russell, M. Arch


Performance spaces, Acoustics, Design, Music, Form


We depend on our collective senses in order to rationalize and negotiate space. Unfortunately, sound and acoustics has become a secondary concern to that of the visual perception in architecture. The initial design intent for many modern performance spaces and music education space, for about the past one-hundred years, has not been driven by sound or acoustics, as a consequence the visual perception has become the major infl uence. Prior to modern acoustical applications, performance spaces have been designed for the essence of sound and the form and function had no divisible lines, but with amplifi cation of sound and the technology to reproduce and manipulate sound, form over took acoustics as a design based idea. This thesis is a direct reaction to the way acoustics and sound, in performance spaces, has evolved over the past hundred years with the advent of modern acoustical technology. This thesis will ask the question of how can sound and acoustics be the main inspiration for the design intent and a formal determinate of space. By using sound and acoustics as a design based method of space making, architecture can achieve a visualization of space through the aural perception of sound. Reexamining how sound reacts to the geometric shapes and forms in architecture can unveil a solution to poor acoustics in many performance spaces, and result in a method of visualizing sound and acoustics in space and not merely a visual experience of the built form. This document will analyze the principals and the application of acoustical design in performance and musical education spaces and reestablish the connection of music, acoustics and architecture. The outcome for this thesis will result in the holistic approach to an acoustically designed performance center inter-connected with scholastic spaces for musical education.