02. 10. 2011
sonic vista

Deutschherrnbrücke / Frankfurt (D)

SONIC VISTA sound installation by O+A on the Deutschherrnbrücke in Frankfurt am Main, part of the urban greenbelt project.

The Deutschherrnbrücke is a railway bridge over the river Main that has pedestrian and bicycle lanes linking the Frankfurt districts of Sachsenhausen and Bornheim.
It also is an important junction/node/threshold between the city of Frankfurt and its greenbelt. 


It’s easy to see why Frankfurt is dubbed “Mainhattan”, an allusion to their similar skylines.
The installation site we selected at the midpoint of the Deutschherrnbrücke displays this view at its best … from here, the iconographic Frankfurt skyline can be experienced from a splendid panoramic perspective.

View of Frankfurt from installation site

The work SONIC VISTA is designed to bring attention to the auditory dimension of Frankfurt’s urban habitat. SONIC VISTA introduces a conscious study and exploration of the sonic aspects of urban city design within the larger greenbelt concept.
The Deutschherrnbrücke, accessible on foot from the city center, is not only a special vantage point for the eyes. It is one of the rare places where the visual feel of the space matches the aural experience, one of the very few urban locations in Frankfurt in which a broad open space can be experienced both aurally and visually in equal measure.  From here, the times of day and the seasons can not only be seen, but also heard. 

From both the left and the right banks of the Main, the city’s nearby infrastructure systems can always be heard in distant hums of activity of various kinds. 
The customary Frankfurt airplane noises are also omnipresent here, but all sound events are present in such a way that none steal or override the “observational-listening space.” The “auditory space” can extend to a radius of up to 5 km. But when passing passenger and freight trains interrupt the stillness at the observation point this shrinks to the immediate vicinity of the listener.

SONIC VISTA is a “real-time” sound installation.
Resonance tubes generate harmony from the urban sound environments on the north and south banks of the river Main.  Sounds of construction, road traffic, bicycles, human voices, jets, helicopters and trains are transformed in real time to harmony which is played back in rel-time from two “Sphere” loudspeakers suspended overhead.

Sonic Vista by O+A 2011
GrünGürtel Stadt Frankfurt, Project Director: Klaus Hoppe
Technical Project Director: Professor Werner Lorke