Travelling Acoustic Bandshell

Written by in Making Headlines

During the lead up to the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a question was posed by event organisers:  How can we deliver world class indoor quality acoustics from an iconic portable outdoor stage effectively bringing culture to more places and people? The result is a series of new mobile acoustic performance shells called Soundforms.

Iconic Fabric Design:

The external skin for the Soundforms mobile acoustic shell is made up of eight inflatable, waterproof, white PVC coated polyester cushions that were designed and manufactured by Architen Landrell, creating one structural unit. The eight inflated sections of the structure are connected and sealed with specialised waterproof, air tight zips (also used in NASA space suits).Membranes are inflated to variable depths, allowing for the differing tensile loads across the structure. This ensures the skin retains its shallow curved, clam shaped exterior.

The underside of the cushion is blackout PVC coated polyester which assists with the lighting control within the structure by preventing light exiting and entering through the structures surface. The elegant inside of the shell is manufactured from white joelastic stretch fabric which is commonly used in theatres for its acoustic properties.  

Engineered for the Unexpected:

Architen Landrell designed a bespoke, compact air handling-unit which inflates the structure and runs almost silently so that the noise doesnt interrupt performances. The unit is designed to run constantly keeping the skin taught engineered for wind, rain, and snow.

Designed to Perform:

The proscenium arch of the structure has been designed to project sound beyond the stage platform, reflecting as much sound as possible to the audience.  The result is a dramatic portable venue offering musical definition and detail found in concert halls raising the bar for what the best open-air concert venues can offer.  

Easy Up/ Easy Down:

The system is designed for rapid erection and dismantling, using minimal manpower and plant in order in order to keep deployment costs to the minimum. The construction methodology is based on systems and techniques that are industry tried and tested, having been developed and refined over the last 35 years by leading staging companies.

Honours and Recognition:

Winner of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI)  International Achievement Award of ExcellenceArchitecture World News said this about Soundforms:  The end result is exquisite… and the quality of sound is a triumph.World Architecture Festival Judges highly commended Soundforms for its innovative design and how it extended the possibility of bringing culture to more places and more people.

Where Can I Get One?

Architen Landrell Associates is proud of our joint collaboration with London based Sound Forms PLC.  For enquires and additional information, visit: or contact Mark Stephenson on +44 (0) 845 2574405

Learn More:

For Additional information on this project, click here for the case study.


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Author: Architen Landrell

For over 30 years, Architen has been at the forefront of the tensile fabric industry.

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