NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE

Museum

Calgary, Canada

2009

The National Music Centre is an un-museum, a hybrid that merges cultural, education and social space. The proposal bridges the King Eddy site and Site B across 4th street, producing a gateway to the East Village and anchoring the music master plan. The main building is conceived as the bountiful, younger partner of the Eddy. It leans toward the Eddy as if by magnetic attraction; its corner is undercut in solidarity with the Eddy’s chamfered corner entry. The public enters the main building from the east and south. The Mixing Room is the nerve center of the complex. It is a grand vertical space that slices across the main building partitioning the program in two; the large presentation spaces are to the north and the smaller, interactive learning spaces to the south. This atrium-like space is lined with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall super-vitrines that store and display the ‘living collection’ of keyboard instruments. The live storage reveals a large portion of the collection to the public realm, out of dead storage. The north and south programs are stitched together by a network of stairs and mini-lounges that occupy the expanded stair landings. The Mixing Room will be a beehive of activity – visitors climbing and descending stairs, socializing in living Rooms, entering and exiting display cases, and engaging instruments. Music from different ears will randomly harmonize or produce cacophonic clamor. The largest artifact in the collection is the King Eddy. The Eddy’s outer skin is preserved and rebuilt on site.

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