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Site and Sound: The Architecture and Acoustics of New Opera Houses and Concert Halls Hardcover – April 10, 2012


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Site and Sound: The Architecture and Acoustics of New Opera Houses and Concert Halls + The Acoustics of Performance Halls: Spaces for Music from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl + Masterpieces: Performance Architecture + Design (Masterpieces (Braun))
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Monacelli Press; y First edition edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580932819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580932813
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Site and Sound, which emerged from four years of research and travel, will be a crucial resource for anyone assessing the state of the hall-building art: I was particularly fascinated by the overview of all the frenzied recent activity in China." —Alex Ross, author of The Rest is Noise and Listen to This

"An ambitious history and critique that covers everything from the amphitheater at Epidaurus (third century B.C.) to Zaha Hadid's cutting-edge Cultural Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, which is under construction now. But the emphasis of this precisely written, meticulously researched study is on the most recent work. And there are some fascinating stories behind the more celebrated examples.... What concerns [Newhouse] most is the connection between the visual and the aural, the relationship of the art of design to the act of listening, a synthesis that can take us into the sublime, one of the most complex and powerful experiences that architecture can provide.... Because she understands the nature and necessity of social, technological and architectural change, she goes beyond conventional architectural criticism and acoustical analysis to outspoken criticism of the results. And she has come to some surprising conclusions."
—Ada Louise Huxtable, Wall Street Journal

"Lucidly written, splendidly illustrated . . . Newhouse’s illuminating survey . . . includes [China,] Los Angeles, Paris, New York and Oslo, before concluding with newer projects by Zaha Hadid in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbe Philharmonie in Hamburg." —Manuela Hoelterhoff, Bloomberg News

"[M]ore fun than any niche-audience, coffee-table-ish architecture book has a right to be.... the book escapes the orbit of the typical typological survey partly through the charm and novelty of its subject, and partly through Newhouse’s own brisk approach through the earliest amphitheaters of the ancient Greeks, the grand spaces of the Renaissance and of the 19th century, to the forward-thinking and acoustically fine-tuned halls of today. It’s suprising that no comparable treatment of opera houses has been written before.... The pleasure of Site and Sound as a whole is how adroitly Newhouse navigates the dual audience—the opera buff on the one hand, the design fanatic on the other—with enough eye candy, backstage gossip, and techno–shop talk to sustain the interest of both." —Surface magazine

"In this meticulously researched and sumptuously illustrated volume, Newhouse, an architectural historian... goes on a global tour of new musical structures, giving particular attention to frenetic recent activity in China. Along the way, she quizzes architects, acousticians, and musicians about an art whose fundamental principles have yet to be understood." —The New Yorker


Praise for Towards a New Museum:

"Towards a New Museum [is] about as complete a tour of the horizon of important new buildings as you are likely to find.... Ms. Newhouse is not just an astute and tireless visitor to these and many other places, but a trenchant critic and observer." —The Wall Street Journal

"Reading through these pages is to be engaged in a provocative conversation with passionate, very intelligent people." —The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Victoria Newhouse is an architectural historian. She lectures frequently and her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and ArtNews. Her previous books include Wallace K. Harrison, Architect; Towards a New Museum; and Art and the Power of Placement.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By NY musician on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Site and Sound is an immensely readable book which approaches the subject of new concert halls and opera houses around the world, and the issues of their acoustics. These questions are approached both from the architectural/aesthetic point of view and from the planning of them as venues for music. As a musician I was struck by the level of detail, especially as it pertained to the quality of sound within these new halls. Also, the illustrations are particularly beautiful. I was impressed by the author's criticisms of some projects, and general overview of this subject, which puts important questions into historical context. The trend today in different parts of the world has been toward putting up (and naming) buildings and less so into supporting the arts that are the reason for those buildings' existences. Big subjects, covered in a thoughtful and provocative way. A highly recommended read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BSternecker on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book was well written has lots of stories to- you capture a pure understanding of every beautiful building. You also discover the who what and where of each building and where the future is going. Well worth it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JohnB on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to spend quite a bit more time working my way through this delightful book than I planned as it contained so much information it required occasionally putting it down to absorb what is contained between the cover and back. A detailed account of what makes some of these great buildings to great, for the most part.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Nixon on January 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-written and very interesting book; if you have any interest in symphony, opera, acoustics, or architecture, this book will surely please you!

It is one of the few books where I've been able to read every word of the book throughout due to me being in college at the moment and it taking most of my focus from other things. All of the book is interesting and covers great halls with a relevant amount of information on each of them; as I said, it is well-written.

I have always had a hobbyist-interest in acoustics; after reading this book, and afterwards sitting in a college course over the subject, I am seriously inspired to look at acoustics as a career.

Thank you, Ms. Victoria Newhouse!
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