A Sound Cannon on Lake Wörth

John Hill
10. March 2022
Photo © Paul Sebesta

The AA nanotourism Visiting School is billed as "an experimental architectural academic program" that "engages with specific local environments to critically address their relevant spatial, programmatic and social issues." Last year, the program ventured to Sekirn on Wörthersee (Lake Wörth) in Austria, working with the Vienna Boys' Choir to increase the visibility of its Summer Residence. As the name indicates, the campus is used just two months out of the year, empty and unoccupied the rest of the year, but it is open to making it a year-round campus. 

The AA nanotourism summer school's interventions focus on the lake, an increasingly inaccessible natural amenity that is an opportunity for the Boys' Choir to engage with its surroundings through performances. Scroll down or click-through the images for a visual tour through the AA nanotourism Visiting School's All-Year-Round Cultural Campus.

According to the AA nanotourism project statement, 83% of the lake's shoreline is inaccessible to the public, with 75% of it private and 8% of it protected nature. (Photo: Google Satellite)
The three interventions are strategically located at the Vienna Boys' Choir Summer Residence, at one of the few remaining plots with potential public access to the lake. (Drawing: AAnanotourism Archive)
From left to right are the AA nanotourism's three interventions, highlighted in red: Exchange Fence, Stare!, and Sound Cannon. (Drawing: AAnanotourism Archive)
Visitors first encounter the Exchange Fence, subtitled "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors," where the formerly valuable detritus of the Vienna Boys' Choir's six-acre property (hay, grass, bark, logs) fill a "deep fence" at the edge of the campus. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
Walking downhill along the fence leads to Stare!, which is visible in a narrow gap between trees. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
Stare!, subtitled "Public Pier of a Former Shoreline," is described by the studio as a "secluded stairway" that brings visitors "closer to the water and away from the noisy road" and is a commentary on the privatized nature of the lake. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
Stare! is also directly aligned with the third of the three interventions, the Sound Cannon that sits on the Boys' Choir's existing wooden pier. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
Sound Cannon is subtitled "Amplifying the Local's Culture Voice" — words that express the desire to reveal the presence of the Vienna Boys' Choir Summer Residence through an acoustical device. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
The Sound Cannon is a "kinetic, flipping device." (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
It can face the land to perform to people gathered on Stare! and the adjacent Vienna Boys' Choir campus. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
Or it can face the lake for performances on the water and even across the lake. (Photo © Paul Sebesta)
People on the water and on the northern side of the lake are referred to as "accidental listeners." (Drawing: AAnanotourism Archive)
This last drawing hints at a third position for the Sound Cannon: turned down, it forms an intimate, semi-enclosed space where a small group of people can talk to each other. (Drawing: AAnanotourism Archive)
Project Title: All Year Round Cultural Campus (August 31 – September 15, 2021)
Location: Vienna Boys’ Choir Summer Residence, Sekirn on Wörthersee, Austria
School Program: AA nanotourism Visiting School, 2021 (Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London)
Project Mentors:  
  • Aljosa Dekleva, Program Head
  • Thomas Randall-Page, Invited Mentor
  • Amanda Sperger, Program Assistant
  • Jakob Travnik, Program Assistant
  • Andreas Maximilian Arndt, invited Tutor
Project Participants:
Exchange Fence – Good Fences Make Good Neighbors:
  • Elias Bouyssy – France
  • Oliver Canins – Italy
  • Amanzholl Kellett – UK
  • Iva Grlić Radman – Croatia
  • Mihail Sugarev – Bulgaria
Stare! – Public Pier of a Former Shoreline:
  • Anna Bernbacher – Austria
  • Pia Fattor – Argentian
  • Kim Gubbini – Luxembourg
  • Kya Kerner – USA
  • Jeremias Pointner – Austria
Sound Cannon – Amplifying the Local’s Culture Voice:
  • Eleonora Balestra – Switzerland
  • Clara Copiglia – Switzerland
  • Kanto Ohara Maeda – Japan
  • Anne Steffen – Luxembourg
  • Mykhailo Zhuk – Ukraine
School’s Program Visiting Experts and Critics:
  • Theo Deutinger – TD
  • Volker Dienst – Vienna Boys’ Choir, architektur in progress
  • Philipp Furtenbach – AO&
  • Tina Gregorič – dekleva gregoric architects, TUW
  • Astrid Meyer Hainisch – Hotel Ogriss am See
  • Elias Molitschnig – Green Party, Carinthia
  • Jakob Ottacher – Rubner Holzbau
  • Christopher Pierce – Architectural Association, London
  • Roland Sint – Wörthersee Tourism
  • Peter Zöch – Snøhetta, Innsbruck
  • Vienna Boys’ Choir – Austria
  • architektur in progress – Austria
  • TU Vienna – Austria
  • Rubner Holzbau* – Austria
  • Wörthersee Tourismus – Austria
  • Baukulturjahr Kärnten 2021 – Austria
  • Velux – Austria

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