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Allied Works Architecture selected to design Cantos Music Centre project in Calgary

Cantos Music Foundation have announced that Allied Works Architecture and local partner BKDI have been selected to design Cantos’ new national music centre at the King Eddy site in Calgary’s East Village. After an extensive worldwide search and impressive public presentations from five international architects, this highly anticipated announcement is a milestone event in the creation of Canada’s only National Music Centre.

“The concept from Allied Works truly captured the heart and soul of this project,” said Andrew Mosker, executive director of the Cantos Music Foundation. “Brad and his team will give us an innovative building that fits with Calgary, Alberta, the West and is symbolic of something that is truly uniquely Canadian. This is an exciting day for Calgarians.”

Brad Cloepfil founded Allied Works Architecture in his native Portland, Oregon. In recent years, Allied Works has focused on several significant cultural and educational buildings throughout North America and can now add Cantos’ National Music Centre to their roster of impressive projects. Considered an emerging master in architectural circles, Cloepfil and his team have beat out some of the world’s biggest names in architecture in numerous international competitions over the last few years.

Allied Works’ recently completed projects include the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, a major addition to the Seattle Art Museum, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas and the recently completed expansion of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

“The national music centre is an extraordinary instrument, silent and powerful, brought to life by its programs, collections and performances. The new building forms rise as sentinels around the re-born King Eddy, marking the entry to the East Village and new Music District,” commented Cloepfil.

On July 23rd, five world renowned architects were asked to develop and present a bold vision for the future of the Cantos Music Foundation and the national music centre. The request included the public presentation of concepts honouring the iconic King Eddy Hotel while creating over 80,000 square feet of space for programs and exhibitions. The centre was required to house an education research centre, museum, collection of instruments and memorabilia, recording studios, a radio station, a seven-days-a-week live music venue and a suite of innovative and creative programs for people of all ages.

The National Music Centre is an extraordinary instrument, silent and powerful, brought to life by its programs, collections and performances. The new building forms rise as sentinels around the re-born King Eddy, marking the entry to the East Village and new Music District. The towers are beautifully crafted cases that hold the specific potential of a rich musical experience. The building, a gathering of resonant vessels, exists to be “˜played’ – to emanate music, light and activity.

The new design draws from the iconic landscapes of Canada: evoking the canyons and mountains of the west, the silence of the prairies and the energy and diversity of urban space. These forces and influ­ences are concentrated into the National Music Centre, creating a spirit of architecture that inspires and renews.

Inside, new experiences that synthesize architecture, music and interactive media unfold. More than an empty vessel for the programs and collections, the building is the bridge between audience and performer, student and teacher, the body and the collection. It invites inquiry and experimentation, and is a point of contact between hands, minds, materials and ideas. Like a well-crafted instrument, the architecture is capable of a wide range of expression, and holds the potential to create profound, personal and moving experience.