At once a performance hall, recording facility, broadcast studio, live music venue, and museum, Studio Bell is the first facility of its kind in North America.
Rising in nine subtly curved and interlocking towers, and clad in glazed terra cotta, the 160,000 square foot building designed by Allied Works Architecture references acoustic vessels, while providing sweeping views of the Bow River and surrounding cityscape. The complex also incorporates the revitalized King Edward Hotel, one of Calgary’s oldest buildings and a legendary blues club.
Studio Bell is a gathering of resonant vessels that stand as sentinels to Calgary’s East Village. The building is a silent and powerful instrument that exists to emanate music and light. Nine towers form the body of the building; the walls, clad in terra cotta, rise in subtle curves that merge, part, and intertwine, modeled by light, gravity, and acoustics.
Entering from the street, the building is filled with the reverberation of voices and music, drawing visitors up into five floors of performance, exhibit, and collections spaces. The apertures at each gallery create a threshold of sound, introducing the content and programs of the particular exhibition. The spaces between are filled with light and activity, with views that frame the city and landscape beyond.
Bridging across the street and back again, the building creates a gateway for the new quarter, uniting the artists’ residences, club, and recording studios with the new presentation spaces. The building binds audience and performer, student and teacher, the body and the collection.