this year, sight unseen OFFSITE celebrated its third year as part of new york design week. for the 2016 edition, architecture studio leong leong has created an immersive sound bath installation named ‘TOPO’. the design provides a place to relax and tune in to an experimental soundtrack created by the designers alongside the engineers at ARUP. TOPO’s interior is formed from a soft landscape of six-inch-thick, CNC-cut foam massage rollers, fastened to an underlying wooden support structure. each module has its own specific contour, based directly off of an elaborate cut sheet digitally drawn up by the architects. when combined, the clusters of rollers stand at differing heights, thus creating an undulating topography defined by three major peaks. when viewed through the installation’s mirrored walls, the landscape appears to repeat itself endlessly.

 

 

TOPO: a sound bath installation for sight unseen OFFSITE 2016
video courtesy of flockofsiegel.tv | main image by naho kubota

 

 

we tried to create a form that was ambiguous enough that you could interpret it however you want to use it — lay in it, sit in it,’ says partner dominic leong. ‘so it’s this open-ended shape that allows for different modes of interaction. the idea of having these three peaks created three enclaves so you can have multiple people in there or you can have a more personal space.’

 

subwoofers and sound transducers — embedded in the installation’s floor, walls and mirrors — relay an aural medley of the ambient sounds emanating from its surroundings. ‘imagine a cloud of sound moving around the space,’ explains the design team. ‘the sound creates these different acoustic spaces that are moving around the space. sound comes out of the walls and out of the ground. in a way the whole installation works like a big instrument; you have to tune the different sound sources.’

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
the immersive sound installation is named ‘TOPO’
image by naho kubota

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
the design provides a place to relax and tune in to an experimental soundtrack
image by naho kubota

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
the interior is formed from a soft landscape of six-inch-thick, CNC-cut foam massage rollers
image by naho kubota

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
each module has its own specific contour, based directly off of an elaborate cut sheet
image by naho kubota

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
the rollers stand at differing heights to create an undulating topography defined by three major peaks
image by pippa drummond

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
scale model highlighting the use of mirrored walls
image courtesy of leong leong /sight unseen OFFSITE

leong-leong-topo-installation-sight-unseen-offsite-new-york-design-week-designboom-02
the landscape appears to repeat itself endlessly
image courtesy of leong leong /sight unseen OFFSITE