Audi Design Creates Grand Piano

In a permanent search for challenges, the Audi Design Studio Team in Munich turned its attention to redesigning a musical instrument which is not so closely related to the automotive industry: a grand piano.

What could the team add to the classic large, curved sides, usually black, three-legged instrument?

That was exactly what stimulated the team’s creativity, mostly of its youngest members, who will benefit from this experience when they move on to car design.

“Generous surface areas ensure formal clarity; there are no decorative applications, the edges and lines are sharply drawn, the joints logically positioned. All these are important aspects of the Audi design,” says Designer Philip Schlesinger, who implemented the project at the Concept Design Studio in Munich.

Finally, the result was satisfying, as though many elements directly associated with the case of the piano were modified, the acoustics were unaffected. One of the most striking features is the lid, which extends without a break down to the base. From above, the lid is seen to be recessed into the main case. In the side view, the curve of the treble side is not interrupted by a joint line.

The underside of the case can rise moderately at the rear, away from the performer. This is an optical device, which “draws the observer’s attention subtly to the pianist,” Schlesinger explains. The keyboard has no wings at the ends. The cast frame is in grey instead of the usual bronze colour, and the felt damper strips in natural white instead of wine red.

The pianoforte manufacturer Bosendorfer was responsible on building the first Audi Design grand piano, placing its name above the centre of the keyboard, like on all pianos of the Vienna-based manufacturer. The piano, priced at 100,000 euros, will make its debut on July 16 in the Audi Forum Ingolstadt, to celebrate Audi’s centenary.
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