The National Music Centre is a new cultural institution dedicated to the music of Canada in all of its forms. The NMC is equally a museum, performance hall, interactive music education center, recording studio and broadcast center. Sited opposite the Stampede Grounds in Calgary’s historic East Village, the new building, along with the restored King Edward Hotel, signals the renaissance of the district and attracts a national and international audience to the city.
The building is organized as a series of nine interlocking towers that showcase the many diverse programs, collections and offerings of the Centre. Wrapped inside and outside in glazed terra cotta that evokes the earth and light of the prairie, the formal and material expression allows for a range of dynamic viewpoints and connections to the surrounding context. From the street, sound and light draws visitors up into the performance, education spaces and galleries above. While the towers hold acoustically distinct volumes or “stages”, the spaces between are the connective tissue of the Centre, allowing visitors to experience a full spectrum of sound and activity. Expanses of glass and filtered screens frame the city and landscape beyond.