How the Sound of a Space Influences Our Mood

“Step into the underground concourses of New York’s Penn Station and you might just feel an uneasy sense of claustrophobia that’s hard to explain. Stroll across the hardwood floors at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and a sense of calmness might descend on you. Why? Each of these buildings has its own unique voice –the way sound behaves in the structure. Think of the way whispers travel in the circular dome of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and how the curved ceiling of the lower floor of Grand Central in New York can carry voices. Then there is the satisfying click of heels walking through an deserted hallway or the way your bathroom makes your singing sound better. This “aural architecture” can have a profound effect on the way you experience a building.”