The New National Music Centre designed by Allied Works Architecture is located in Calgary, Canada. The new centre, which incorporates the now defunct King Eddy Hotel, a legendary house of blues, will be part museum, part education and outreach facility, and part performance space. The building is designed as a series of ‘resonant vessels’ that are linked by a two- storey bridge. Like the instruments in the collection it houses, the building will be designed to emit sounds that will bleed out into the street, thus stirring interest in itself. This need to be self referential, says Cloefil, is due to the fact that 90% of the surrounding buildings have been demolished, leaving the NMC to lead the way as to what the future structures in the neighbourhood should be like.
In his handling of the King Eddy, Cloepfil has treated the historic structure not as a strict restoration project but rather as an artefact in the museum’s collection. The new structure ‘holds the Eddy’ thus allowing the different scales of the proposed and existing structure to convincingly coexist. The bridge is both a poetic gesture and a functional response to the program, which is too robust to be accommodated on the existing site.