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The audible space : attuning the Orpheum in downtown Vancouver Lo, Hiu Ying 1996

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THE AUDIBLE SPACE ATTUNING THE ORPHEUM, IN DOWNTOWN, VANCOUVER by Hiu Ying, LO B.A.A.S., University of Hong Kong, 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER Of ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Architecture We accept this thesis as confonriing to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1996 ©Hiu Ying LO, 1996. In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ^ ' ^ ^ g ^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date •? DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT We live in a culture that readily and pervasively privileges the eye over the ear. Architecture is regarded increasingly as picturesque images by spectators at distance and in isolation. Building starts to lose their plasticity and the close connection with the language and wisdom of the body. However, every touching experience of architecture is multi-sensory. Therefore, architecture involves seven realms of sensory experiences which interact and infuse each other in a continuum. The thesis attempts to locate at the aural realm as a theoretical departure point and to explore ways of counterbalancing the unconscious tendency concerning retinal dominance. It is intended to recapture the fading sensuality, tactility and embodied essence of architecture. The study of audible space corresponds to one specific perceptual phenomenon as the starting point. This is not intended slightly to undermine the reality mat in architectural synthesis, different sensory categories overlap. The experiment attempts to explore and reinstate the relationship between architecture and sound. It seeks to trace for the seams which tie together their adjacencies and to overhear the different mutations of visual sound and acoustical space. Concepts and methodologies that signify the role of sound in architectural and environmental design will be investigated. The project, hypothetically the extension of the Orpheum Theater, will serve as the vehicle for the petrifying the theoretical investigation.. The project attempts to discover room and potential for improvements between the conflicting forces. The locale's charm lies in its specificity and complexity as an enduring historical local musical precinct, a neighborhood of depopulated and deteriorating street life. The study at this particular locale also tries to scrutinize the architectural relationship between the old and new and the possible regain of eminent public activities in public spaces resultant from inappropriate urban planriing strategy. ii p T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgement iv Site Plan; Smithe Street Elevation 1 Ground Floor Plan; First Floor Plan 2 Second Floor Plan; Section AA; Section C C 3 Section BB; Granville Streeet Elevation 4 Section DD; Section E E 5 Model in Context (1:200) 6 Sectional Model (1:50) 7 iii A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T I would like to express my deep gratidute to the thesis cornmittee members : Jerzy Wojtowicz, Raymond Cole and Luciano Zago, for their priceless advice and guidance; and Sharon Chung for her help. In addition, many thanks to Gret Sutherland, Senior Project Manager of the City of Vancouver as well as Rae Ackerman, Director of Vancouver Civic Theatres for their generosity of help and time during the research. Last but not least, many special thanks to my parents, C.H.Ng & Mew, for their love and support, everyday. iv 1 Ii limit* titrili 4 l u l l » q i ; l n train s finer ( Wistnii: I Clfltltll I ftii|lt ElmtK 1 Elmlir G / F P L A N , l / F P L A N LOBBY I IEIEUUI MIL I H U M HCIIIt 2/F PLAN M l 'ftittiti SECTION CC 4 


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