tonAU: acoustic exhibition at the Donau-Auen National Park Visitor Centre in Vienna's Lobau wetlands

The National Park Visitor Centre in Vienna's Lobau wetlands makes the riverine woodlands an acoustic experience. The tonAU exhibition is a place for intensive listening in close proximity to the busy, vibrant city.

Among the consultancies invited to participate in a competition, PlanSinn emerged as the winner with its innovative concept of displays with an acoustic focus. The barrier-free, multilingual permanent exhibition "tonAu" was opened to the public in May 2007, at the same time as the Donau-Auen National Park Visitor Centre in Vienna's Lobau wetlands. Visitors find out interesting facts about the acoustic world of the National Park. What sounds can we hear in the riverine woodlands? How do animals produce sounds? What stories do the wetlands tell us?

The auditory experiences in the exhibition range from animal calls through interviews and features to special children’s fairy tales about the Danube wetlands. Visitors are immersed in sounds from all directions: some emanate from the wall or from tree trunks, while others appear to wind their way up out of elastic pipes emerging from the floor. A smaller space was designed especially for children and other inquisitive individuals. "Treasures" collected from the wetlands can be added to the display on the Show and Tell Table, different sets of animal ears are available for dressing up, and voices telling fairytales about the Danube's riverine woodlands resound from an old treasure chest.