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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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"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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!