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Akoustolith is a porous ceramic material resembling stone. It was used to limit acoustic reflection and noise in large vaulted ceilings. The most prevalent use was to aid speech intelligibility in cathedrals and churches prior to the widespread use of public address systems. Akoustolith was bonded as an additional layer to the structural tile of the Tile Arch System ceilings built by the Raphael Guastavino Company of New Jersey. Akoustolith was a patented product of a collaboration between Rafael Guastavino Jr. and Harvard professor Wallace Sabine over a period of years starting in 1911.
John Ochsendorf, Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. 133.
- William J. Cavanaugh, Gregory C. Tocci, Joseph A. Wilkes, Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Practice, Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2010. 71.
- A Tale of Two Physicists: mentions the collaboration between Sabine and Guastavino.
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