National Music Centre Of Canada

by | 13. Jul 2012

Cultural | Feature

Image courtesy Allied Works Architecture

Part education research centre, part museum, part recording studio, part live music venue, the facility will create a space for innovative and creative programs for people of all ages.

In collaboration with the Cantos Music Foundation, Allied Works’ task was to invent a new cultural institution that celebrates Canada’s remarkable music legacy and serves the national music community by providing a world‐class centre of music innovation, creation and discovery.

Conceptually, the project was formed thinking of  “resonant vessels” or instruments orchestrated by the collections and programs of the new building. We really do see the building as an instrument. The body of the building is designed and detailed to refer to instrument cases, while the freer forms of the interior are influenced by acoustics.

Entering an exhibition gallery, a visitor will activate a threshold of sound, there will be ambient sound throughout and an interactive acoustical area where visitors can make sound with their bodies. Silence will also be present as an important element of the soundscape.

/Brad Cloepfil

Model photo courtesy Allied Works Architecture

Model photo courtesy Allied Works Architecture

Image courtesy Allied Works Architecture

The project will incorporate the historic King Edward Hotel, a legendary house of blues, and provide 80,000 square feet of new space for music education, performance, recording and exhibition of the Cantos Music Foundation’s growing collection, and mark the first stage of the redevelopment of Calgary’s East Village and the creation of a new music district in the historic heart of the city.

Sketch courtesy Allied Works Architecture

Sketch courtesy Allied Works Architecture

Drawing courtesy Allied Works ArchitectureElevation

The original 1906 building will be completely restored and the five‐story annex built by the hotel’s founder will also be retained. The reconfigured annex and new additions will hold myriad spaces for performance, broadcast, recording and rehearsal.

The initial thing that caught my eye was the complexity of the vision in the description of what the National Music Centre aspired to be. It was so many different things, it was like nothing I had ever heard of, no nameable institution. It’s not just a museum, it’s not just performance space. It has this crazy blues club associated with it. It was quite a far-ranging vision…

To be a part of inventing a new institution, that’s something you don’t encounter. A lot of times you get to re conceive an institution, but to really invent one, which is what we’re doing, that touches on so many parts of music at once and concentrate it into some sort of cohesive place in Calgary is an amazing challenge.

/ Brad Cloepfil

Drawing courtesy Allied Works ArchitectureGround Floor PlanMusic_Centre_Canada_9.jpg
Drawing courtesy Allied Works ArchitectureThird Floor PlanMusic_Centre_Canada_10.jpg
Drawing courtesy Allied Works ArchitectureSixth Floor Plan


CITY Calgary, Alberta