Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion
Friday, July 27th, 2012
By John Dugan
Among the many built-for-the-London 2012 Olympics structures out there, Asif Khan & Pernilla Ohrstedt's Coca-Cola Beatbox has me most intrigued. The duo's temporary pavilion shows us how sound art, experimental architecture and technology can combine to create an interactive musical instrument.
The Beatbox is made from 230 red and white translucent ETFE cushions (aluminium-framed and inflated), which have audio and interaction technology integrated into their membranes. Sawn black stained timber is used on the roof and interior. The frame and ETFE garland is designed to be reused once the games are over. Walking up to the terrace gives one a great view of the surrounding park.
The visitor hears Anywhere in the World, a track featuring a Mark Ronson-composed beat made from the sampled sounds from Olympic athletes. The architects wanted a building with a beat—so the sound loops are spread around the building into sound cushions triggered by visitors as they walk up to the building's terrace.
Coca-Cola's global platform for London 2012 — Move to the Beat — aims to bring teens closer to the Olympics by fusing athletics with their love for banging club tracks.
Does it work? It seems like a you-have-to-be-there proposition—but I'll ask my London-bound friends if it works for them.