Acoustic elements that remind us of nature

Nature, in its immensity, gives us every day sounds that bring peace and tranquility; the singing of birds, the wind moving the branches of trees, the waves of the sea bursting on the shore of the beach, the rainwater falling while wetting everything that lies in its path.

Water spouts in pond
Photography: Maria José Icaza

With the accelerated growth of cities and the vertiginous urbanization, often without specific planning, human beings have given themselves the search for spaces and elements that help us escape from the bustle of everyday life, from the sound of car horns, the voices of the people around us, the ringing of incoming calls and messages and even the tapping of the computer keyboard. Noise pollution has made us aware of the importance of finding a way to bring those great gestures that nature gives us with its sounds, to a more urban and residential scale.

In this edition of trends, we want to talk about those elements that help us, through creating or isolating sound, to recreate relaxing environments within the spaces where we live, work and interact.
Water is one of the natural components, which in contact with different materials and used in different ways, creates sounds that take us back to secluded and quiet places. Fountains are a clear example of this combination and are increasingly used both outdoors and indoors. They are made of different materials, sizes and designs, fountains allow us to reproduce sounds of waterfalls, streams, runoffs, rain falls, etc.

Water spouts
Photography: Maria José Icaza

Depending on the space we have to install them, we can get them prefabricated, made of fiberglass, stone, wood or we can let our imagination fly and make an original custom design. Either way, the most important thing is to take into account the needs and style of the space where we want to place them.
Another alternative to fountains are weeping walls. These are recommended when we have little space or we want to optimize an existing wall in our garden or inside our home. Placed mostly in walls overlooking a pool, in some strategic point of the yard or in living room or hallway walls, the sound of falling water will fill the environment with peace and serenity, inviting the user to really enjoy the space. Weeping walls can be covered with marble, natural stone, concrete, among others. If what we want is to obtain a greater sonority, we can implement some metallic element, a lattice or texture that achieves a higher reverberation than the simple runoff of water down the wall.

Falling water Fotografía
Photography: Maria Orlova – Pexels

Weeping wall Fotografía
Photography: suzukii-xingfu – Pexels

Just as we seek to reproduce sounds, many times we also want to contain them or isolate our spaces from outside noise. For this it is convenient to use elements that apart from helping us achieve this goal, also help us to give a different and natural touch to our environment. A good option are green walls or vertical gardens, made up of architectural structures that are covered with plant elements, generally perennials, with different foliage and colors, always looking for their correct adaptation to the amount of air, sun or shade where they are placed.

Nowadays there are companies that have taken on the task of providing us with ideal products for acoustic insulation, which combine the use of natural materials with organic design. Such is the case of Epiclay, whose mission is to promote the coexistence of natural life in urban areas.

Mediterranean tile mossy
Photography: Epiclay

Taking advantage of the physical properties of clay for crop irrigation and with a 25 x 25 cm module design, allows the colonization of epiphytic plants, such as ferns, bromeliads, mosses and orchids, on its surface, avoiding the use of soil and conserving the humidity necessary for the survival of the plants, resulting in low maintenance and completely sustainable green walls. This product also helps us to reduce dust and pollutants due to its great absorption capacity, as a thermal insulator regulating the environment in interior spaces and absorbing and preventing the passage of certain sound frequencies.

With all of the above we realize that a good landscape design, hand in hand with the right sustainable technology, allows us to bring nature to the comfort of our homes, turning them into small oases in the middle of the urban desert.

Prototype Fotografía
Photography: Epiclay