Do you remember putting a shell up to your ear to “listen to the ocean”? Bearing this in mind, Brooklyn-based firm STUDIOKCA, commissioned by NASA, has created the NASA Orbit Pavilion to immerse visitors in the sounds of satellites orbiting in outer space.

The nautilus-shaped pavilion provides a space in which to experience the trajectories of 19 satellites orbiting Earth. Made with 3,500 square feet of water-jet cut aluminum panels, the pavilion is scribed with over 100 ‘orbital paths’ fitted together and bolted to a curved framework of aluminum tubes. The structure defines a 30’ diameter inner space with a large oculus at its center.


By employing an array of speakers within this space, programmed by artist and composer Shane Myrbeck to map, translate, and then broadcast the sounds of these satellites, the team created a “3d sound chamber” in which visitors can enter into and listen to the sounds of NASA’s satellites as they fly over, under and around them, in real time.


The surface perforations echo the orbital paths of the satellites, culminating around the oculus at the center of the sound chamber, while helping to mitigate exterior noise and decrease wind loads on the relatively light structure.

The Pavilion made its debut at the World Science Festival in New York City last summer, and is slated to “wash ashore” at the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California this spring.


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images and video courtesy of STUDIOKCA