The Hear Heres, Kedleston Hall, Derby
an installation by architects Studio Weave
with National Trust, Structure Workshop and AB3 Workshops (completed September 2012)
Set within the stunning parkland surrounding the Grade I Listed Kedleston Hall, the Hear Heres offer visitors an immersive and interactive experience that invites curiosity. In response to the competition brief, which called for new perspectives of the National Trust property, we have designed a series of four structures that play with sound and open up auditory vistas in the landscape. The Hear Heres encourage people to explore the landscape and expend energy, but at the same time offer spaces for moments of quiet reflection and soaking up the sounds and sights of this extraordinary setting.
National Trust selected Studio Weave from 168 competition entries to design a series of ‘playful incidents’ to whip up a sense of adventure for exploring the parkland surrounding Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. The term incident was used by Robert Adam, whose first major commission was to design the mansion and estate at Kedleston in the 18th century, to denote a manmade point of interest in a rural setting. Our winning proposal for the Hear Heres will encourage visitors to listen to and interact with all the different sights and sounds of the landscape.
The Hear Heres are designed to pick up and amplify particular sounds related to their four locations. A small and agile Hear Here, which wraps around a tree trunk rather than being held up by supports, weaves into the hidden denseness of life on the branches and brings the sounds of the tree down to the curious explorer upon arrival at Kedleston. Bursting out from the woodland, the largest Hear Here opens up to a trumpet big enough to envelop visitors; here you will hear the twitterings and rustles and patters of unseen creatures and breezes passing through branches. Perching on the top of Hare Pit Hill, the tallest Hear Here stretches up into the air bringing the sounds of the sky down to earth, from buzzing insects to distant rumbles. Tucked away by the Splash Pool, the third Hear Here swoops down over the water’s surface, transporting the gentle sound of rippling water up to the riverbank.
The Hear Heres will support an events programme including music performances, sound recordings, and imaginative educational workshops. Both the events programme and the Hear Heres themselves will playfully contract and magnify the landscape, opening up new relationships across the estate and between the house and its parkland. This commission forms part of Trust New Art, a collaboration between Arts Council England and National Trust to bring contemporary art and design to historic places across the country.