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Studio Bell is Canada’s Newest Museum dedicated Solely to Music

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The country's latest cultural addition is a musical revelation featuring a 300-seat performance hall


The Portland, Oregon–based firm Allied Works Architecture (AWA), has just designed a 300-seat performance hall and museum, which will be the home of Canada’s National Music Centre.

Studio Bell is a 160,000-square-foot building, which has been in the works since 2009. It features a striking sky bridge and shimmering terra-cotta façade, boldly setting it apart from the surrounding cityscape.

Made up of nine interlocking towers, the building is a spirited addition to AWA’s rich portfolio of cultural institutions. (The firm also designed the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver and the refresh of Manhattan’s Museum of Art and Design.)

“In its many diverse spaces, Studio Bell echoes the variety of musical performance,” says AWA’s founder Brad Cloepfil. The new building holds a radio station, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, recording studios, artist-in-residence spaces, and classrooms.

The design’s multiple volumes, he says, are “modeled by gravity and acoustics, and together create a silent and powerful instrument that emanates music and light.” A portion of the center opened before now, but the final exhibition spaces were only completed in late October.

Visitors are now able to enjoy the vast collection of over 2,000 musical instruments, artifacts, and artist memorabilia spanning the past five centuries.

Photography: Jeremy Bittermann. Courtesy of Allied Works Architecture

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