"Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music"—these words from German writer and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe are the inspiration behind Soundwave, a new installation by Vienna and Beijing-based architecture firm Penda. Sprouting out of a public park in Xiangyang, China, the field of over 500 bright purple pillars look like the ethereal skyline of a mini metropolis. At first glance, these fins of varying heights are immediately reminiscent of the bouncing bars of a digital audio visualizer. But once people, say a bunch of locals getting together in the plaza for group dancing (this is, of course, the intended use), they'll soon discover that the pillars are all covered in LED lights and speakers. That's because the volume of the music and the brightness of the light are all motion-activated—the bigger the movement, the more intense the audio-visual spectacle.
As Dezeen explains, the fins are clad in perforated stainless steel in four shades of purple, which are supposed to echo the tones found in purple foliage nearby — that's right, the two-square-mile park where Soundwave is installed contains a grove of 1,000-year-old myrtle trees.
· Penda creates landscape of purple pillars for audio-visual installation in a Chinese park [Dezeen]
· All installations coverage [Curbed National]