On display in an Estonian forest near Tallinn is ruup, an installation of three gigantic wooden megaphones that amplify the typically-quiet sounds of nature. The project was created by interior architecture students at the Estonian Academy of the Arts, and it’s intended as a site of relaxation. Here, visitors can enjoy the symphony of the forest—faintly chirping birds, rustling leaves, and babbling brooks are now within earshot. In addition to intensifying the surrounding environment, these three-foot-diameter instruments serve as bandstands for cultural events and concerts, as well as shelters for wanderers, hikers, and campers.
The students’ project was launched a year ago, but has just recently come to fruition. It began with a workshop deep in the South Estonian woods, and they worked with semiotician and author Valdur Mikiti to create a “forest library,” a place where people could listen and “read” through sound. They proposed several concepts, but ultimately settled on student Birgit Õigus’ idea of the massive megaphone sculptures.
If you're in Estonia and interested in seeing the megaphones for yourself, Ruup is situated near RMK’s Pähni Nature Center in a remote locale so that visitors can disconnect and truly feel at one with nature.