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Sound-O-Matic in Aarhus’ Botanic Garden

A soundscape that imitates the natural sound of a tropical forest

2017.04.21 | Louise Balslev

A 3D visualisation of the Tropical house.

One of the point speakers hidden in on a plant.

In 2014, the Glass Houses in Aarhus’ Botanic Garden reopened after a renovation, which included an additional new and bigger tropical house. The Botanic Garden wanted to create an authentic and exciting experience that could work on different levels. This encouraged a collaboration between the Botanic Garden and Audio Design at Aarhus University on the idea of the creation of a sound design to support the illusion of being in the natural envoriment of the plants.


To meet this request of imitating the natural sound, Morten Breinbjerg and Rasmus Lunding developed a unique speaker design based on multiple point speakers hidden in the beds and on the plants. CAVI produced the structure of the soft- and hardware, which externalised the concept and implemented the idea into the physical frame of the Glass Houses. The system was custom made for the Botanic Garden and named Sound-O-Matic. Though, afterwards it became clear that the Sound-O-Matic has a range of opportunities beyond the application in the Botanic Garden. In the Botanic Garden the main goal was to mimise the way sounds occur and behave in the nature. In the autumn the system has been running for three years, and everyday it contributes to the many visitors’ experience.



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