While he’s best known for designing buildings–like the Sugar Hill affordable housing development, in Harlem, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C.–David Adjaye regularly dabbles in other mediums. In the past, he composed sonic experiences with his brother and created fabrics and furniture for Knoll. Now, he’s come up with a speaker for the luxury audio brand Master & Dynamic.
This isn’t just an ordinary Bluetooth speaker in a fancy shell, though the Spartan design–it’s curved concrete with a slick stainless-steel grill–is easy on the eyes. Holding true to his roots as an architect, Adjaye (along with the Master & Dynamic team) re-engineered the entire structure of the speaker, starting with the material it’s made from: concrete. Their goal was to get rid of as many parts and as much plastic as possible since they cause vibrations that reduce sound quality.
Adjaye and Master & Dynamic developed a proprietary concrete mix–which is more rigid and dense than structural concrete–for their Brutalism-inspired MA770 Wireless Speaker. Using concrete eliminated the need for internal bracing for the speaker, and the concrete’s mass–it weighs a hefty 35 pounds–virtually eliminates vibrations from the speaker so you can crank it up without causing a needle on a record player to skip, according to the manufacturer. Master & Dynamic plans to use the concrete in future products but declined to mention specifics.
The speaker can be ordered from MoMA Design Store for $1,800 later this month.