Rachel D Poster

British Architectural Acoustics, 1900-1930

Before the First World War, British architectural acoustics was little changed since the nineteenth century. Despite significant developments in the United States of America following the work of Wallace Clement Sabine, and to a lesser extent in Germany, few British architects or scientists engaged in architectural acoustics research. Six years after the end of the war the Building Research Board of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research formed a committee to oversee research into the acoustic properties of building materials in three different research establishments: the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington, the Building Research Station at Acton, and the Signals Experimental Establishment at Woolwich. Within the first few years of its existence the Architectural Acoustics Committee advised on the architectural design competition for the League of Nations Assembly Hall and was consulted on acoustic materials by the Government of India and the Municipality of Singapore.

In this seminar I will present how the importance of acoustic technologies in the First World War and the need for cheap alternative building materials during and after the war led to the creation of the Architectural Acoustics Committee.



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