Philips Pavilion

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The pavilion at the time of the exhibition.

The Philips Pavilion was a World's Fair pavilion designed for Expo '58 in Brussels by the office of Le Corbusier. Commissioned by Philips, an electronics company based in the Netherlands, the pavilion was designed to house a multimedia spectacle that celebrated postwar technological progress. Because Corbusier was busy with the planning of Chandigarh, much of the project management was assigned to Iannis Xenakis, who was also an experimental composer and was influenced in the design by his composition Metastaseis.

The pavilion is a cluster of nine hyperbolic paraboloid in which music, Edgar Varèse's Poème électronique, was spatialized by sound projectionists using telephone dials. The speakers were set into the walls, which were coated in asbestos, creating a textured look to the walls. Varèse drew up a detailed spatialization scheme for the entire piece which made great use of the physical layout of the pavilion, especially the height of it. The asbestos hardened the walls which created a cavernous acoustic. As audiences entered and exited the building Xenakis's musique concrète composition Concret PH was heard.

The European Union funded a virtual recreation of the Philips Pavilion, which was chaired by Vincenzo Lombardi from the University of Turin.

Arseniusz Romanowicz's Warszawa Ochota train station in Poland is supposedly inspired by the Philips Pavilion.

References[edit]

  • Marc Treib, Space Calculated in Seconds: The Philips Pavilion, Le Corbusier, Edgard Varèse, Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996
  • James Harley, Xenakis: his life in music, London: Taylor & Francis Books, 2004
  • "The Architectural Design of Le Corbusier and Xenakis" in Philips Technical Review v. 20 n. 1 (1958/1959)
  • Joe Drew, "Recreating the Philips Pavilion", ANABlog, Januarymark_source:kolossus-hewiki|display=title