Valsolda music box
Location: Valsolda, Italy
The competition called for the design of a new space to house the Valsolda philharmonic orchestra – a 40 person group of musicians based on the northen shore of lake Lugano. The conceptual proposal for the project is based on the music box – a mechanical device prevalent in the 19th century which could generate melodies without the need for a live musician. The boxes were typically composed of 2 elements, a metallic mechanism and a wooden protective box. The box was then set upon a surface to improve the resonance of the audio. The design for Valsolda symbolises the music box. A subterranean concrete slab houses practice rooms whilst the symbolic music box sits on top composed of a golden metallic service core and wooden external skin. The internal space is designed to be flexible, during concerts retractable seating provides space for a 120 person audience, when retracted the space is free for other events related to the local community. The external wooden skin is operable and can open in a number of ways providing shelter from the weather and light into the interior. The western facade can open to allow a performance to be seen from the external seating during the summer months. The external skin is perforated with a pattern inspired by sheet music, a series of dots and lines represent the notes on a musical scale.