Gallery: 6 Examples of Innovative Architecture Inspired By Music


You can see, feel and touch architecture, but what if you could hear it too? Innovative architects and designers across the globe are finding inspiration in music to create sound-producing structures that aim to heighten our senses and open our minds to the finer details that make up the world around us. From a cargo container that mimics the experience of being inside a guitar, to a multi-faceted building facade that produces an aqueous resonance on rainy days, to a towering hands-on pavilion that visitors can touch and play like a keyboard, see 6 of our favorite sustainable structures that have been inspired by music!

Coca-Cola’s Beatbox Pavilion – Olympic Sounds Remixed By You!

Designed by up-and-coming London-based architect duo Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt, Coca-Cola‘s Beatbox combines music, architecture, technology and sports into one amazing interactive structure. Visitors to the pavilion can remix their own Olympic sounds by touching any number of the 200 translucent air pillows that blast samples of “Anywhere In The World,” Coca-Cola’s London 2012 song produced by Grammy award-winning music producer Mark Ronson. Visitors can even climb Beatbox using a ramp for a picture perfect view of the Olympic Park.

+ Coca-Cola’s Beatbox Pavilion

CargoGuitar – Feel What It’s Like to be Inside a Guitar!

Artists Marcelo Ertorteguy, Takahiro Fukuda and Sara Valente created CargoGuitar for the Kobe Biennale in Japan. The innovative installation allows visitors to see and feel what it’s like to be inside a guitar. Using a reclaimed shipping container, the artists equipped it with eight large glow-in-the-dark steel strings stretched across the inside of the container. Visitors can actually play the CargoGuitar; it even has tuning pegs!

+ CargoGuitar

Dithyrambalina’s Music Box – A Village Built for Music

New Orleans is known for their impeccable jazz music and plethora of unique architectural styles, but artist Dithyrambalina took the two to another level by creating houses that double as music boxes. A collaboration between New Orleans Airlift and Brooklyn artist, Swoon, The Music Box was made up of little houses built from salvaged materials, reclaimed windows and instruments all locally sourced. Each of the houses, designed by sound artists, were equipped with custom musical instruments such as the Water-Organ, a keyboard that played music through water, and Noise Floor, floorboards that amplified creaks. Though The Music Box is now closed, Dithyrambalina continues to be a dynamic lab for art and music.

+ Dithyrambalina’s Music Box

Star Wars Barrel Organ – Music Making With LEGOs

A barrel organ that’s made of 20,000 LEGOs and plays the Star Wars theme song? you can’t get better than that! Serviceplan and LEGO-certified professional (yes, there is such thing), Rene Hoffmeister, built the fantastical organ for the 3D premiere of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Thousands of LEGO bricks were meticulously arranged into the theme song’s musical composition, and when the barrel spins, the bricks push the mechanical sensors connected to a built-in keyboard to play the song. While the premiere of Phantom Menace has long passed, the organ will be permanently on display at LEGOLAND Germany later this year.

+ Star Wars Barrel Organ

Court of Water Wall – Rainwater Music for the Masses

Who knew rain could sound so lovely? This funky blue wall doesn’t just look cool, it plays music when it rains! Designed by Annette Paul, Christopher Rossner, and Andre Temple, the Court of Water wall funnels rainwater through downspouts to create a unique musical sound that can be heard throughout Kunsthof Passage Dresden, a small recreational and shopping area in Germany.

+ Court of Water Wall

Underwater ORB Lights – Music Making ORBs React to the Sounds of the City

ORBs are beautiful LED lamps that react to sounds of urban cities. Danish design and development team Urbanbotics created ORBs as interactive and performative art for bodies of water. The ORBs move toward quiet sounds such as friendly greetings and music, but then dive underwater and “hide” when they hear yelling and loud engines.

+ Underwater ORB Lights

This content series is brought to you in partnership with smartwatersmartwater, good taste travels well. To learn more click here.


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  1. Luis Galina April 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Is acctualy some writen, I mean recorded, music by Cristoph Rossner, Annette Paul & Andre Tempel pipe designs? How can I have one sample of that? Somebody can tell me about it? I would thanks, thanks very much, indeed.

  2. Mike Chino August 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm
  3. Beth Buczynski August 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    These are awesome! I especially love the giant music box wheel. I loved watching those work in tiny music boxes as a kid…

  4. Molly Cotter August 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Rainwater music sounds awesome! Looks pretty great too!

  5. Yuka Yoneda August 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Love the water wall!

  6. JasminMC August 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Great example of cross-pollination between disciplines!

  7. Diane Pham August 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    would love to try out the cargo guitar. nice use of lighting with that project, too.

  8. Mark Boyer August 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    The Court of Water wall is one of my favorites.

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