by Alix Biehler, AA Foundation 2013-14
20 May 2014 Bedford Square, London   Music cannot be restricted to ideas of entertainment or distraction. It is a language, composed of countless sounds that translate emotions, stories, landscapes… or even architecture.   Pursuing this concept, I found music to be both a means of communication and description, so I decided to apply its potential to an architectural façade. To test this idea, I chose the Georgian architecture of the AA façade; creating four iterations to represent the AA’s signature sound while developing a way of scoring buildings 32 to 39 Bedford Square. The first score (seen in the accompanying video) is based on seven distinctive features, based on the A to G score, substituting traditional musical notes with small windows, larger windows, top level windows, chimneys, doors, the arch of 39 and the pediment of 32. I then used the rails to formulate a link between the notes. As a visual support to the musical piece, I built a wooden model of the AA that is lit from behind, which I filmed to create a stop motion video.   From this project, I observed that the AA could be directly read as a score, each floor representing a line of music and the rails providing the datum lines. My next iteration was an attempt to describe the movement within the AA. By filming the buildings from 8 to 10pm, I documented the lights switching on and off and used these lighting traces to compose a score. Then, for the final version, I tried to capture the essence of the AA façade’s materials using glass, bricks, and rails. Together these scores comprise a musical understanding of the AA: its architecture and its inhabitation.   For more information: AA Foundation Brief AA Foundation microsite