Ascend – 2021

Walkable, reactive sound sculpture in the lobby of Beacon Capital Partners, Chicago

Idee und Klang Audio Design collaborated with iart to create a reactive sound sculpture for the lobby of a prestigious commercial building owned by Beacon Capital Partners on LaSalle Street in Chicago.

The architecture of 'Ascend', which was designed by American architect Norman Kelley, is built in the form of a semi-circular amphitheater made of steel, brass and marble and measures 12 feet in height and 27 feet in diameter.  It is a walk-in sculpture that invites you to sit on it for a chat, a coffee, or just to linger on it to listen to the sounds....

'Ascend' is a responsive instrument that uses real-time data to create an ever-changing sound environment. Each time of day has its specific tempo and texture, each day of the week its specific scale of sound, and each weather situation its specific texture.

The sound installation is triggered by the user's physical interaction with one of the 81 light sensors or 3 motion sensors. As soon as the amphitheater detects the user's presence, the generative composition sounds through each of the eight nearest (out of a total of 95) speakers.

For more on generative and interactive audio, click here.



Client: Beacon Capital Partners
Architect: Norman Kelley Architects
Contractor and planning: iart – studio for media architectures
Media Architecture: iart
Acoustic Consultant: WSDG Basel 
Photos: Norman Kelley Architects