Matthijs la Roi Architects has created a wooden dome amphitheater within the forested park of Sint-Arnolduspark in Belgium. Clad in soft brown cedar, the dome comes complete with a stage designed to host open-air performances with the structure acting as a natural, sculptural backdrop. The most compelling feature to the project, and what gives the “Rain Amplifier” its name, is the artificial rain shower designed to create a dynamic soundscape inside the forest.
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This artificial waterfall is achieved through a controlled network of hidden, interconnected tubes and nozzles within the structure. The dome shape helps to amplify the sound of the water, creating the organic essence of falling rain and contributing to the ambiance of the dreamy landscape. As May and April 2020 have been the driest months in the country since 1833, the project will also serve as a reminder of climate change to local residents and those who travel there.
The project is part of the “Contrei Live” trail, which includes 16 land art installations in the region of South West Flanders aimed at promoting the importance of rain in the environment. The park itself was established toward the end of the 19th century and is thought to contain healing powers thanks to a nearby natural water spring and historic fountain.
Designers chose cedar as the cladding because of its high water-resistance and rich color tones, while the half-dome shape is an homage to the existing Catholic architecture inside the park. While the project primarily serves as a venue to celebrate rain through musical and theatrical performance, it goes much further than that. The sculpture is also focused on providing a serene space to reflect on the importance of rain throughout human history as well as the challenges of climate change in a more contemporary world.
Photography by naaro via Matthijs la Roi Architects