Water Soundscapes and Well-being

Research shows that listening to water sounds provides humans valuable benefits, including experiencing calmness, peace, and able to create a tranquil state of mind. Improving people’s well-being is the aim of this project in the Elan Valley, so it has emerged to contributing to achieving the health and integrity goals set in The Well-being of Future Generations Act.

The natural sanctuary of the Elan Valley reservoirs alongside its intrinsic water sounds becomes the ideal setting as the placing of the Claerwen Listening Training Centre. This centre is conceived to support families with autistic members with an inspiring and “fitting” place to enjoy quality time together. Claerwen Valley has been the place chosen due to the range of sound qualities and its remoteness, which help to enhance the development of the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive skills of people with autism condition.

The landscaping of the project has been thought in relation to sound, including sound routes to offer a multi-sensory experience for families, focusing on the diverse and variety of sound stimulation found in the site, generating a sonic park, where sound sources are used to provide autism users with a controlled experience.

Inside the building, the organic and fluid shape of the curve walls generate a safe space while creating a single corridor containing a variety of sounds in contrast with the acoustic control of the enclosed rooms. The double-height atrium becomes the social heart of the enclosure, providing a natural light social focus for families and staff alike. In the different rooms, the warm and timeless nature of the bespoke wood ceilings aids acoustics and create a new sense of well-being.

Therefore, The Claerwen Listening Training Centre uses the strength of the countryside atmosphere to provide a uniquely tranquil space for the educational bonding and well-being of Welsh families with autistic children.

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Email: Nuevolm@cardiff.ac.uk