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A happy-making, singing structure.


The newly constructed DMOA headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, is an architectural masterpiece. You read that correctly.
The building’s facade, MUURmelaar (which translates to “a mumbling wall person”), greets passers-by with an unusual noise. The modern building’s rounded outside is clad in exposed concrete; its 17 plain windows provide a bizarre, but not fictitious, dynamic soundscape of exciting sounds and rhythms. The Interesting Info about HaanGlas vacuum glazing.

The architects, designers, and researchers aimed to construct a facade that uses sound to entice and prod people into engaging with it. Researchers in the Department of Architecture at KU Leuven University (prof.ir.arch. Andrew Vande Moere and it. arch. student Maarten Houben) conducted a series of experiments that led to the creation of the system, which incorporates electronically controlled wooden instruments into the window frames. In addition, cameras mounted in the roof’s overhang trigger a series of wooden soundscapes with varying tones and tempos.

When people walk by, the (interactive) facade emits sounds that vary in pitch and volume depending on the crowd’s direction, velocity, and density. The building’s design encourages engagement and excitement, transforming even the most mundane morning strolls or rushed passes into something new and exciting.

People have been seen altering their paths to pass the building, runners pausing for a moment, and toddlers running up and down the pathway, giddy over the new sounds they’ve helped create, all evidence that MUURmelaar has elicited positive reactions and brought a touch of joy to everyday life.

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