In collaboration with
BUF architecture, Khaled Yassine, 21dB acoustic consultants and Squad Design construction
The Silent Room is a site of absence located within the contemporary city. It is designed to exist alongside the familiar features of the 21st century metropolis: shops, street markets, office buildings, transport interchanges, traffic.
The Silent Room proposes a space in which the quantity of information present in the contemporary urban environment is radically reduced. It frees you to see, hear and touch in a context of extreme spareness. As you enter the room, the visual cacophony of the city is dimmed out, replaced by subdued lighting and a fabric-upholstered interior. Aural stimulation is brought down to a minimum: the room is insulated against external sounds, and playing within is a non-intrusive recording of the city at its calmest moments.
It offers the luxury of silence to everyone. It aims at redressing the sonic inequity within the contemporary urban landscape
Silent Room 1 was first installed in Beirut in May 2017 as part of Beirut Design Week. It was situated in a parking lot located next to two low-income neighborhoods, a motorway and an industrial area. In 2018 it was reinstalled in the city’s Rue Jeanne d’Arc on the site of a recently demolished residential building.
Photos by Nadim Asfar and Raintree.