Architectural Acoustics, a new book by Arup Fellow Raj Patel, released worldwide

Jackie Wei Green Jackie Wei Green Senior Communications Leader,Los Angeles
23 April 2020

Arup congratulates Raj Patel, a distinguished Arup Fellow and the firm’s global leader of acoustics, audiovisual, and theatre consulting, on the release of his new book, Architectural Acoustics: A guide to integrated thinking. Published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the book is now available worldwide.

Architectural Acoustics is an authoritative and accessible guide for design professionals interested in mastering the fundamentals of acoustics—an invisible but powerful dimension of design. In this book, one of the world’s foremost acoustics designers draws on his personal experience working on projects across the globe to explain how good acoustics works to elevate projects. Filled with case studies and illustrations, the publication gives readers an overview of innovative practices and design technologies offering practical solutions to common acoustical issues, as well as future challenges and opportunities. 

One of the most fundamental challenges of acoustics design is helping people understand that sound is created by the unique attributes of each environment: its shape, height, volume, and materials. Getting this right at the outset is fundamental. That is why your bathroom at home, your office, and stadium sound different from each other. ”

Raj Patel Raj Patel Global and Americas Skills Leader

An encyclopedic compendium for designers of the built environment, Architectural Acoustics takes readers first through a series of essays on topics ranging from how evolution shaped our relationship to sound, to the future of acoustics in a world of immersive audiovisual environments. The author’s most important message is simple: good acoustics design is an invisible art, which makes the discipline easy to ignore during the design process. But designers do so at their own peril, because once a project is complete, its essential acoustic properties, good or bad, are mostly built in.

The remainder of Architectural Acoustics is arranged in 24 chapters, each dedicated to a building type (e.g. stadiums, healthcare, offices, educational spaces, rail, aviation, concert halls, museums), offering a broad overview of the history, attributes and acoustical challenges of each, and using modern and historic examples of good design. Technical details are infused with Patel’s blend of practical know-how, technical acumen, and enthusiasm for the subject. 

When RIBA asked architects to name the expert best suited to write an engaging, common-sense alternative to the dense acoustics textbooks on the market, Raj Patel was an obvious choice. Patel, a Principal at Arup, has spent three decades developing integrated acoustics and audiovisual solutions for a wide array of iconic projects including New York’s Barclays Center, National Sawdust, and 2nd Avenue Subway; to the San Francisco MOMA, Seattle Central Library, and Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center on the west coast; and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Ontario. Along the way, he has earned a reputation for both creative innovation and technical mastery and helped to pioneer Arup’s SoundLab, a groundbreaking tool for creating accurate audio renderings of 3D space.

Arup is a global leader in acoustics consulting with eleven offices in North America offering a range of architectural, building, transport and environmental acoustics services, integrated with audiovisual, technology, experience design, and venue consulting. Arup’s specialists combine technical excellence with design expertise and cutting-edge tools to craft and enhance lived sensory experiences.