Student Name: Camille Thai

School: Sci-Arc

Studio: 2GBX: Harmony in the wild

Instructor: Herwig Baumgartner

Hypernatural Consonance is a music education center designed for the Harmony Project, an Los Angeles organization that aims to bring music education to the underprivileged located in the Exposition Park, Los Angeles.The project explores the interrelationships between human, nature, and music through a play on texture and the idea of composing an “exquisite corpse” that exposes seams between one volume to another. Within these extreme spaces, nature and other species find their places of belonging and thriving alongside the human and the music and exist within the architecture. The project also rediscovers the idea of performance art by prioritizing the work-in-progress spaces within itself and breaking the notion of traditional enclosed spaces for music.


Hypernatural Consonance focuses on exploring the interrelationships between human, nature, and music. It is a music education center designed for the Harmony Project, an Los Angeles organization that aims to bring music education to the underprivileged located in the Exposition Park, Los Angeles.The project began with a series of objects and a massing model. The massing takes inspiration from debunking the hierarchy between the back-of-house and front-of-house by lifting the occupiable space upwards and creating a circulation that exposes the work-in-progress taking place inside classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and storages before entering the main public auditorium space. The mass also orient itself towards the Exposition Park, making a gesture that suggests its part of a larger whole while allowing an opportunity for musical projection that could potentially extend beyond the architecture itself into the larger site.


The massing creates two massive voids with the first floor being completely empty with an unobstructed articulation of the landscape allowing the microecology of the project to interact with the immediate site of the project on the lowest floor. The project moves to a secondary landscape on the second floor where the biodiversity is contained within the masses,  allowing a second degree of isolation within the ecosystems of the project.

In terms of its response to nature, the elevation diagrammatically shows nature growing at two distinctive scales: one human and the other much larger-than-life. The overscaled nature elements blur the line between the architecture and nature by suggesting the possibility of it being a built artificial form or it is just a mere projection, which embodies the notion of the “wild” to me: when does the architecture ends and nature starts? The same idea can be seen through the section as the poche appears and disappears due to the articulation of the volume. Sometimes it is a wall that divides up the spaces, and half the time it is almost moving and living and breaking away into the outdoors.


As an exquisite corpse, the architecture finds within itself extreme conditions in the seams where the articulated volumes come together. The design redefines the idea of habitable spaces as nature finds itself inhabiting all the crevices that humans fail to inhabit. Meanwhile, the surface articulation of the project challenges the idea of a volume as it grows beyond the solids into the extent of articulating the voids, creating a fuzziness between the two spatial entities. The design is spatially divided into three layers that also determine how the space is programmatically utilized. The closed volumes contain the formal auditorium spaces, classrooms, offices, and back-of-house. Secondly, the opened volumes where outdoor performances take place and where human and nature intimately interact, and finally, the in-between spaces and smaller volumes where only nature can access in circulation and scale.


The auditoriums accept the overgrown nature into their interior with the form of the stages and the acoustics taking on the artificial nature forming outside. They are reconfigurable spaces that open up to the outdoors to allow for a diverse ecosystem of sounds to come into and out of the space if necessary.  The performances take place in half-open, half-enclosed spaces that draw inspiration from informal performance such as busking to suggest an encouraging environment for the students of the school who are navigating through the idea of showcasing themselves in front of an audience. The idea that these activities take place right outside of their classroom normalizes performances and brings closer the relationship between the performer and their audience. Where the seams between the volumes are larger, performance stages adapt to these pockets outdoors alongside the nature that grows out of the smaller seams.