Mufflers: 10 Artistic Acoustic Highway Noise Barriers

Highway Acoustic Walls 1a

These artistic acoustic highway noise barriers combine form with function, neatly blocking the sound of road traffic while looking darned good in the process.

Highway Acoustic Walls 1b

This proposal for an environmentally-friendly acoustic barrier (“Forest Corridor”) in Hong Kong was designed by Bread Studio to meet three strict conditions: masking the sight of the highway from nearby residential buildings, improving the view of the highway’s underside for people in the park below, and relieving drivers from any claustrophobic impressions as they cruise through the de facto tunnel.

Leapin’ Lizards!

Highway Acoustic Walls 2a

Highway Acoustic Walls 2b

Stretching for six miles along both sides of the Pima Freeway’s sound barrier wall in Scottsdale, AZ, “The Path Most Traveled” by artist Carolyn Braaksma evokes the essential nature of the region’s desert ecosystem.

Highway Acoustic Walls 2c

Interspersed among a mix of abstract and Native American-style motifs are prickly pear cacti standing up to 40 feet tall and enormous lizards almost 70 feet long.

Clearly Beautiful

Highway Acoustic Walls 3a

Highway Acoustic Walls 3b

Melbourne’s freeway network is the largest of any Australian city, and without sound barriers the aural impact on residential neighborhoods would be substantial. Cheap and unimaginative acoustic walls would also have a detrimental effect on drivers so a pleasing compromise was achieved that satisfied both.

Highway Acoustic Walls 3c

Tinted acrylic plastic panels set into sound walls along the EastLink Freeway maintain audio insulation while adding visual interest at a reasonable cost. Want to see the world through rose-colored sound barriers? Get your eyes to Australia!

“Sixty Seconds of Architecture”

Highway Acoustic Walls 4a

Highway Acoustic Walls 4b

Louwman Exclusive Cars is a high-end exotic automobile dealer located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, just off the A2 highway between Amsterdam and Maastricht. Instead of making do with a bland and boring sound wall, the dealership opted instead for an acoustic barrier “designed from the perspective of a flow of cars passing by with the speed of 120 km/h.” Fast company indeed.

Highway Acoustic Walls 4e

Highway Acoustic Walls 4d

Highway Acoustic Walls 4f

Highway Acoustic Walls 4c

Stretching 1.5 kilometers in length, the 5,500,000-euro barrier designed by Kas Oosterhuis widens to a 30m “cockpit” that accommodates the auto dealer’s showroom and service bays. No doubt it’s quite quiet inside as well.