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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Music Boxes in Salford, UK by BDP

August 31st, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: BDP

Shipping Container Music Installation Revealed

BDP’s Manchester studio partnered with the Manchester International Festival (MIF) to design Music Boxes – a musical playground designed for children aged 6 months to 7 years. BDP’s Manchester Chairman Gavin Elliott and Design Associate Jasper Sanders designed a mini city of shipping containers which were constructed at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays, the new home of Children’s BBC in the UK.

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

  • Architect: BDP
  • Name of Project: Music Boxes
  • Location: Salford, UK
  • Software used: Sketch-up, predominantly to produce 3-D model images & a bit of Microstation to do the drawings

The 78 steel units were stacked up to three high in an irregular pattern, eschewing the traditional logic of containers in linear rows to create an elliptical, enveloping shape. This layout was developed deliberately by BDP to evoke the natural geometry and symmetry of sound, the serrated planes of spaces that receive and reflect sound, and the sculptural form making of minimalist artists such as Donald Judd and Richard Serra.

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

Other features evocative of shipping incorporated into BDP’s design concept include a sail-like canopy, formed from wire rigging and truck tarpaulins, suspended over the central area, in addition to giant, stencilled, super-graphic signage panels affixed to the ends of the containers. Gavin Elliot said of the project: “We’re delighted to have worked with MIF on such a playful and creative project which will resonate both literally and figuratively within its surroundings.

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

“We’ve sought to ensure that the design captures the spirit of the shipping container as the ubiquitous tool of world trade and a true 20th Century icon. “We also wanted to reflect both the industrial heritage of Salford Quays and the next chapter of its regeneration, which will see working docks return to the area some thirty years after the last ones closed.”

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

Festival Director Alex Poots said of Music Boxes: ““We’re committed to making high quality work for children, an area which can often be undervalued. We’re pleased to be collaborating with these fantastic artists, the BBC, Salford City Council and BDP on such an exciting, ambitious project.”

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

Once installed  some containers became miniature performance spaces, some were specially customised recording and animation studios, while others were kitted out as interactive installations allowing the very young to explore a fantastical world of sound and music.

Images Courtesy BDP - David Barbour

To create the Music Box installation, BDP worked closely with curator Rachel Clare of Crying Out Loud and George Woolley of Universal Containers. Music Boxes workshops and sessions for children ran throughout the 2011 Manchester International Festival  (30 June to 17 July).

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

Installation concept and design by BDP.

Music Boxes is commissioned by MIF Creative, BBC, Salford City Council and Abu Dhabi Festival, produced by Manchester International Festival and CBeebies, and supported by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA).

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

About BDP

BDP is the largest interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists in Europe. The company works closely with users, clients and the community to create special places for living, working, shopping, culture and learning across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

Founded in 1961, BDP now employs more than 900 architects, designers, engineers, urbanists, sustainability experts, lighting designers and acoustics specialists in  studios across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, UAE, India, China  BDP has a leading track record in all major sectors including health, education, workplace, retail, urbanism, heritage, housing, transport and leisure.

Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson


Images Courtesy BDP - Daniel Hopkinson

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Categories: Microstation, SketchUp, Studio

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