RES acoustic shell Serafino di Rosario and the RES team win the Peter Lord Award
ReS (Resonant String shell) is a sustainable hand-built temporary acoustic shell created for music performances in the open air and since its incept Serafino Di Rosario has played a key part in its development. Serafino, senior acoustics consultant based in our London offices, was recently awarded the coveted Peter Lord award for this deceptively simple but acoustically amazing structure.
The product of a research programme taking place during Villa Pennisi in Musica Summer School, ReS has involved a varied team including Italian experts in architectural design, product design, computational analysis (from the University of Naples Federico II) and acoustics and the all-important input of the soloists of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome. The design concept aims to provide a portable structure for use by actors and musicians that be built and dismantled in just three days while still delivering excellent acoustic performance for both audience and performers alike.
Serafino and his colleagues have achieved this from a shell built using only wood, mostly recycled, which features mechanical reversible joints between the parts of the structure and no glue! One of the key elements of the project was the team’s development of a bespoke digital tool, built in Grasshopper and Octopus extensions for Rhinoceros that performs an optimisation process that enabled them to find the best possible panel array configuration and single panel inclination for the shell.
Neil Billett, BuroHappold regional director added “The development of the shell and Serafino’s role in it has, for me, been a delight to follow. He can count himself amongst the Italian craftsmen that he rightly applauds: his craft being a scientist/physicist/acoustician who can work with a team to bring a quality project to life on a budget that others are amazed by. Congratulations Serafino!”
The team won the Peter Lord Award which is awarded annually for a building, project or product that showcases outstanding and innovative acoustic design. Peter Lord was a former president of the Institute of Acoustics and a hugely influential figure in UK acoustics, being a driving force behind the setting up of the Institute, founder of the Applied Acoustics department at the University of Salford and first editor-in-chief of Applied Acoustics.
Serafino comments that “Developing the latest version of ReS in 2014 has been a real challenge. We needed to overcome the infamous third year for a project! In Italy we say that the third year is always the most difficult and it is the moment when the real value of a project is really defined!!! Well our hard work has been recognised not only from our colleagues and audience but also by an institution like the IOA! The 2014 version of the shell is also very important because of the technological advancement we were able to include in the design but also because there was a more intense participation by the whole team and the students; it seems like everyone was aware of the importance of the times and that it was the right moment to push the boundaries.
Also our musicians’ friends have expressed their appreciation for the new advancements in design. During the dinner, at the end of the first concert, all the musicians who have played the fantastic Mozart Quartet for Oboe and the Bach double violin concerto have come to me to share their thoughts on the acoustics under the shell. Everyone was very keen to say that this was the first time that they could hear “my sound” (a typical expression for a classical musician) in outdoor conditions! Well, their pleasure in playing under ReS is evident by the fact that they are all coming back this year and everyone is asking me what we will have next. A bit more difficult to beat this time but we are sure we can make it!!!”
More details of the project and the people in the team can be found here