Studio Edwin van der Heide
Water Pavilion

The concept of the water pavilion is based on the idea of creating a communicating architectural environment. It's an environment where the building, light, projected images, water and sound form one complete experience. The behavior of the environment is based on literal processes and metaphors about water. The fluid structure of the inside of the building is a shell for a continuously flowing and transforming world of water realized both with real water and virtual environments.

All the sounds are electronically produced. The speakers are placed in such a way that you experience a sounding building instead of sound in a building. There are 60 speakers distributed over the whole building. Each individual sound has its own character of movement and speed over the speakers.

The building exists of two interconnected pavilions: the Freshwater Pavilion and the Saltwater Pavilion. Each pavilion has its own sound environment. The sound environment of the freshwater pavilion is based on metaphors of a river, a water source and a darker underwater space. The saltwater pavilion is inspired by virtual sounding sky, the water surface of the sea and a hydra traversing these. It's presenting metaphors of different weather conditions.

The music in the two different spaces is not a fixed composition but has a generative approach to it and is therefor composed on the moment itself. The rules for how sounds can be combined are predefined; the actual decision of what sounds is made in real-time. This way the music will always be different. Partly the visitors can influence the processes via sensor based interfaces in the building. Furthermore the weather conditions outside of the building are used to control part of the compositional parameters.

While a traditional concert often aims for a uniform experience of the audience, the Water pavilion has the opposite approach. It's part of the concept to promote individual experiences. Two persons visiting the building can have different experiences and when visiting the Water Pavilion a second time this can lead to again another experience.


music: Edwin van der Heide & Victor Wentink
generative composition and spatialization concept: Edwin van der Heide
architecture: Freshwater pavilion NOX, Lars Spuybroek & Saltwater pavilion Oosterhuis associates
software development: Arjen van der Schoot & Edwin van der Heide
software: Opcode MAX, SuperCollider