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Translucent Symphony

Inspiration comes in many forms — images, words, music, and more. As part of staying  #FluentInDesign, the team at Hunter Douglas looks for things that spark our imaginations. Here are some fun and intriguing items that piqued our interest this week… we hope they “pique” yours, too! Please tweet us (@FluentInDesign) or email us with any feedback or ideas. Our address is

Translucent symphony. MAD architects has set out a design for a new 1,600-seat, 125,000 sf concert hall in Beijing. Featuring a flowing, translucent facade evoking the look of jade and a ceiling festooned in white petals, the building will be home to the China Philharmonic Orchestra. The structure will encourage interaction between people, music, and nature. An adjustable reflection panel behind the stage can be raised to bring in natural light and exterior views. When finished, the structure will be surrounded by a pond and greenery. “We wanted to create a pure and sacred oasis in the midst of the bustling city,” said Ma Yansong, founder and principal partner of MAD architects in an article on  “From the moment you enter the building, you will be taken to another time and space.”

Best of the best. Have you ever noticed how much music can sound different in certain places? ranked music halls across the globe for their euphonious layouts. At number one, the Musikverein, in Vienna, Austria, has high ceilings and a rectangular shape that contribute to its superior acoustics. Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands, was second. Over 128 years old, the shoebox structure can hold nearly 2,000 guests. Said one reviewer: the “mere sound of a gong or a celesta was transfigured into musical poetry simply by being played in that space by those musicians.”

Museum “Transformer-ed”. In an article on Curbed, architect Michael Ford discusses under-developed communities, structural racism, and poor urban planning. He says “hip-hop architecture” should examine how the built environment affects communities and inspire new solutions. Ford is set to design the Universal Hip Hop museum in the Bronx. In partnership with Microsoft, the museum will embody Hip Hop and the community in coexistence when it is completed in 2020. A portable museum experience in the form of a truck named Optimus Prime will extend the museum well beyond its walls. Optimus Prime will visit other cities heavily influenced by hip-hop culture, including Detroit, Atlanta and Los Angeles, and will allow visitors to contribute their own stories.


Image credit: Image © MAD architects via Designboom

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