Music, nature, and architecture all came together on the banks of Lake Maggiore this summer. The Palco Acustico, or acoustic stage, an acoustical shell designed for outdoor concerts, was one of the stars of the 60th Stresa Festival, which brought the season to life with its classical and jazz concerts. A shell that amplifies sound thanks to its particular shape, the structure came into being thanks to architect Michele De Lucchi and Mario Brunello, the festival’s artistic director, with the aim of using architecture and music to bring people more closely in touch with the local landscape.
Conceived as a zero-impact portable structure, the acoustical shell was designed by AMDL CIRCLE, a multidisciplinary studio headed by De Lucchi that brings a humanistic approach to architecture and design. The structure, made of larch, was designed so that its walls reflect music towards the audience using a form of natural sound amplification that doesn’t require electronics. The shell of timber panels that surrounds the stage is supported by exposed timber arms, resulting in a highly transportable structure. Acoustic modeling was performed by a university research group led by Professor Marco Imperadori, a lecturer in Technological Innovation at Politecnico di Milano.
The shell was built using natural materials and high-tech machinery, brought together by the skill of D3Wood, Lecco-based carpenters specializing in solid timber structures with innovative, non-standard shapes. To minimize environmental impacts, the larch was darkened using a natural treatment that accelerates the color change process. The lighting, which uses rechargeable units, was designed to produce a suffused effect, mimicking the characteristically convivial atmosphere of a bonfire.
“Music played outdoors spreads through the air,” says Michele De Lucchi. “It mixes with the sounds, smells, and colors of nature – the green of the fields, the red of the sunset, the blue of the sea. The landscape is a very special setting for concerts. It makes the sounds less technical, more authentic, and more sincere. Music and nature come together outdoors, and the Palco Acustico has the delicate job of amplifying the magic of their meeting.”
Project by: Michele De Lucchi and AMDL CIRCLE
Photos by: Lorenzo Di Nozzi, courtesy of AMDL CIRCLE