In high winds this tower hums like an alien space ship coming into land.
In very high winds, the Beetham Tower in the centre of Manchester emits this very loud hum. The problem is caused by the glass and metal sculpture right at the top of the building. When the wind rushes past the edge of the glass panes turbulence is created. This is then amplified via resonance. (I think of the air between the deep glass panes).
“Quick sound level measurement at Beetham Tower – 78 dB Laeq,1s main freq in 250Hz 3rd/oct band”
Acoustic consultant Simon Jackson (@stjackson)
No wonder people complain about it keeping them awake, that is like having someone playing a tenor saxophone at a moderate volume level.
303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ. You’ll only hear it when the wind is from the west and gusts over 70 mph.
This large sculpture plays with the sound of the wind and waves.
(2 Votes, average 2.50)Loading...
If you stand in the center of the structure, the sound of the wind and the waves at the bottom of the cliff are intensified. The experience makes you feel as though the elements are swirling around your head.
Expedia travel guide
Created by Basque artist Eduardo Chillida, this curved concrete sculpture creates a clear and strong amplification of the sounds of the sea crashing at the bottom of the cliff. You have to stand in the center of the sculpture. Close your eyes, you will hear the noise of the waves breaking against the rocks, but the sound comes from the upper area of the sculpture. Apparently it is an accidental sound scuplture, with the artist being surprised when he first heard it.
Thanks to J.Oscar for providing some first hand experience of what is going on (see first comment). It’s a reflection from the underneath of the upper ring. But the other key acoustic element is the lack of any sound straight from the breaking waves to your ear because the edge of the cliff is in the way. This lack of direct sound is what causes the image to falsely appear to come from above, and also why you’re surprised to suddenly hear the sea as you walk into the focus point.
Does anyone have recordings?
The scultpute can be found in the grassy Parque del Cerro de Santa Catalina, at the top of Cimavilla, Gijón.
High on the Pennine Moorsthis sculpture uses wind to generate discordant and haunting sounds.
(21 Votes, average 4.10)Loading...
This piece of public art is high above Burnley on the Pennine moors. It uses the prevailing westerly winds to generate discordant and haunting sounds to accompany the view from Crown Point. It was designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu in 2006 and won a Royal Institute of British Architects award. Not all the pipes create sound – some are just there to create the dramatic shape. The pipes that ‘sing’ create an unearthly choral sound, which is only audible at relatively close range on a windy day.