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Roundhouse ready to be 'played'

North London’s historic Roundhouse - renowned for hosting art and cultural events - is set to become a giant musical instrument visitors can ‘play’

New Wave Talking Heads icon David Byrne will transform parts of the 160-year-old former engine shed, which was revamped in 2006 by John McAslan + Partners, so they will resonate with music.

The notes will be produced through a series of mechanical devices attached to structural elements of the building - walls, metal beams, pipes, heating, and so on.

The sound installation will be controlled by a pump organ keyboard which visitors can play. The exhibit will be open from 3 - 31 August.

The windows on the domed roof of the historic building - which has hosted performances by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, and James Brown - will be opened for the first time in years.

David Byrne, who is the architect of the Playing The Building project, was born in Scotland. He is presently based in New York, and is an artist and musician.

Playing The Building was a success the last two times it was attempted - at New York’s Battery Maritime Building last year, and at the Fargfabriken building in Stockholm in 2005.


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