Configured like a shell and conceived as a wandering scenography, with constructive mechanics as simple when evocative, the 'acoustic stage' in larch wood designed by AMDL Circle and Michele De Lucchi for the Stresa Festival 2021 is a natural sound amplifier to diffuse the music in the open air

Designed by AMDL Circle and Michele De Lucchi for the Stresa Festival 2021, scheduled on Lake Maggiore from 15 to 24 July and 19 August to 5 September, the Acoustic Stage is a scenic machine for en-plein air concerts that wants to activate a synergistic connection between music, nature and people. It is a music pavilion, a natural sound amplifier born from the will of Michele De Lucchi and Mario Brunello, artistic director of the festival, to use architecture and music to bring people closer to the landscape and stimulate environmental sensitivity.

“Outdoor music spreads in the air, merging with the sounds, smells and colors of nature, the green of the meadows, the red of the sunset, the blue of the sea. The landscape is a very special setting for a concert, which makes the sound less technical, more authentic and sincere. Music and nature interpenetrate and the Acoustic Stage has the delicate task of amplifying the magic of their meeting” explains Michele De Lucchi.

The structure, in larch wood, is configured as a shell whose walls act as a sounding board for sounds and melodies. This natural amplification does not require electronic components, in fact the intensity of the sound depends solely on the arrangement of the musicians on stage. The panels that embrace the platform and determine the shell shape, are supported by exposed wooden arms that reveal the simplicity of the stage mechanics: a system that is easily transportable and assembled in the different contexts of Lake Maggiore that can be reclined near the banks, such as along the slopes of the surrounding woods. The music pavilion is conceived as a wandering scenography, which brings music to unexpected places and enhances the nature of the territory.

For the feasibility of this stage machine, the acoustic modeling and simulation phase, developed by the university research team led by Professor Marco Imperadori, was of fundamental importance: through engineering software the structure was optimized and above all the ideal parameters were identified to obtain high sound quality without the support of electric amplification. The execution, entrusted to D3Wood, is based on the potential of numerical control machines that make it possible to obtain solid wood products with innovative and non-standardized shapes.

The harmony of colors is another essential component of the project. For a lower impact on the landscape, the larch has been darkened with a natural treatment, accelerating the process of chromatic change of the wood which is not a simple construction material, but an element with a life of its own, made of perfume, color and sound. Even the lighting, using rechargeable lights, is designed to obtain a suffused effect, which recreates the atmosphere of conviviality characteristic of campfires.

Through the interaction and synthesis of all the elements, the project of the Acoustic Stage aspires to create an alternative and natural experience of music and architecture, which favors the connection between people and the environment.