As part of the London Design Biennale 2018 and London Design Week, BUF were invited alongside multidisciplinary artist Nathalie Harb, to design the official Lebanese Pavilion on the River Terrace of the Somerset House.
The Silent room takes on the form of a two storey tower and contemporary tree house and was an urban intervention that proposed public shelters where citizens could freely rest, insulated from the noises of the city and other sensorial aggressions.
The Silent Room responded to this context, providing a cocoon-like space isolated from the city’s noise. It offers the luxury of silence to everyone, regardless of background or status. It redresses the sonic inequity within the contemporary urban landscape.
Visitors entered a perforated brick and timber tower and ascended a staircase to the wooden upper level, which housed the Silent Room. The light inside was very dim, providing the absolute minimum of visual information: It’s not a space that’s designed to be seen, so much as sensed. The walls and floor were lined with fabric, which is also in a very subdued tone. Eight speakers gently broadcasted a field recording of the city at its quietest moments. This was all that the visitor would see and hear. Which gives the visitor a different way of thinking about the urban environment, of understanding it in terms of noise and silence, overstimulation and peace: that you’ll come away from it with an increased awareness of the soundscape around you and its effects.
London Design Biennale– Official Pavilion in conjunction with Nathalie Harb