The idea for the the pod’s shape sparked when seen the graphic representation of the sound wave. Dependent of various frequencies the wave vectors are rising and dipping along the time axis. By joining and simplifying the sinusoidal planes we foresee a series of triangles and taken into the third dimension we end up with the cones.
The cone is perfect a shape from the structural point of view as we decided to design the pod which can be assembled and dismantle without use of any tools. The base is 13 feet in diameter with an apex of 20 feet when built in full. In some situations where we are limited in height the pod can be half built leaving the frustum just below 10 feet. The separation between two options is a ventilation ring providing sufficient provision of fresh air allowing the occupants to remain comfortable with the door closed for up to an hour.
The floor is divided into 8 identical pieces and covered with a custom made carpet with a BBC Radio 4 logo. The bottom sides are also divided into 8 pieces – one has a built in multimedia digital screen which allows flexible display of BBC Radio 4, British Library and local radio stations logos that can be scheduled and looped plus one as a hinged door wide enough for wheelchair access. The ventilation ring is made out of 4 identical pieces and the cone’s higher sides are divided into 6. Single tip is crowning the pod, which is hosting the red light, lit while recording. The pod breaks down into 27 pieces in all, which can be easily lifted, and are small enough to be brought into office buildings through standard doors. We estimate time to maximum 45 min for assembling or dismantle by two people.
For the side panels we used sandwich construction which can withstand considerable stress and maintains the rigidity of the whole pod. It is robust and suitable for both interior and exterior use. The outer layer is made of ‘Alubond’ fire-proof aluminum composite and complies with current safety regulations (A grade, GB/B1). It is painted metallic blue to match the Radio 4 colour. The inner layer is made of pyramid acoustic foam which is long lasting, high-performance solution to sound deadening. Helps reducing echoes with extra diffusion and offers less absorption. Hence the whole interior of the pod is allowing creation of high quality recordings without extraneous background noise. All construction components are joint via specially designed tongue and groove method allowing all pieces to slot into each-over to make a single flat surface. Because of the cone geometry it is self supporting structure and to point this out again – can be assembled and dismantle ‘free off tools’.
The interior is arranged with three comfortable chairs and a small table between. To the side there is a designated area for operating producer which is separated via custom made curtain in British Library colour and in-print. To eliminate accidental kicking or disturbing the microphones we designed a service ring located above to which we can connect and hung microphones and light fittings creating desired ambience and intimate space for members of the public to record their conversations. We believe that our proposal will comfort people who want to share and tell future generations who we all are and what we feel…therefore.Architects: Quixotic Architecture, Saatchi & Saatchi
Project team: Saatchi & Saatchi | Agnieszka Rosa & Luiza Mec, Quixotic Architecture | Wojciech Dziubek & Maciej Wierzbinski Project name: BBC 4 – The Listening Project
Competition: RIBA Competition