Genaro González, Albert Samper, Blas Herrera


Introduction: Quadric surfaces are commonly used in buildings due to their geometric ability to distribute and focus sound waves. The Central Hall in Palau Güell — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is topped by an ellipsoidal dome. Antoni Gaudí envisaged this room as a concert hall where the organ and the dome play a lead role. Methods: The two previously mentioned elements are the main subject of our paper, which serves two purposes: 1) determining the values of the acoustic parameters of the hall through onsite measurement and also through simulation, and 2) using the geometric parameters of the quadric surface, which best fits the dome, in order to check whether it is possible to improve the acoustics of the hall by placing a new emission source at the focus of the dome’s ellipsoid. Results and Discussion: Contrary to the authors’ expectations, due to the focal reflection properties of the quadric surface, some acoustic parameters on the listening plane do not improve significantly. Therefore, we conclude that Gaudí took the acoustical impact into account when designing this hall.


Ellipsoidal dome, acoustics, Palau Güell, Antoni Gaudí.

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