Sonic marshmallows

A pair of sound reflectors were installed at the Wat Tyler country park in Essex during February 2007, as of a regeneration program launched by Basildon Council.

The permanent installation is one of a series of sculptures commissioned for the park. The brief was to create something playful and challenging for the children there. The sculptures allow their users to whisper to each other while 60m apart.

Sonic marshmallows at Wat Tyler country park in Essex. Photo: Troika

The Sonic Marshmallow create a stunning acoustic experience: their shape focuses sound and allows people standing in front to hear each other’s whispers 60 metres over the pond that separate them. They work like reflectors to create a precise beam of sound.

The cylinders are also concave on their other sides, allowing the users to respectively spy on the people in the nearby car park, and the animal in the woodland, thanks to those 2.5m ears.

Designers Troika say Basildon being so close to the coast, we were also inspired by the early sound mirrors built between the two wars as early attempts of detecting incoming enemy planes approaching. Famous remaining examples lye off the Kent coast, near Dungeness.

Acoustic engineering consultancy was provided by Sandy Brown Associates, and fabrication by London Engineering.Wat Tyler country park

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