Last edited 05 Jan 2021

Studio Bell, Calgary


[Exterior of Studio Bell, the new home of the National Music Centre. Courtesy Allied Works Architecture. Photo © Jeremy Bittermann]

Studio Bell, the new home for the National Music Centre (NMC) of Canada, was completed at the end of 2016. Designed by Allied Works Architecture (AWA), the new, state-of-the-art cultural centre includes a performance hall, recording facility, broadcast studio, live music venue and museum - the first facility of its kind in North America.

Located in Calgary, Alberta, Studio Bell aims to connect visitors with Canada’s rich musical history through live performances, exhibitions, and interactive education programmes.


[East Village Skybridge connecting Studio Bell and the King Edward Hotel. Courtesy Allied Works Architecture. Photo © Jeremy Bittermann]

The project is AWA’s most ambitious to date. The structure rises in nine interlocking towers, each clad in glazed terracotta and encompassing 14,864 sq. m (160,000 sq. ft). The subtle curves provide a reference to acoustic vessels and offer views of the Bow River and surrounding city.

The site also includes an existing masonry structure, the 1905 King Edward Hotel, once the home of a legendary blues club. The historic building has been fully refurbished and now houses a radio station, recording studios, a media centre, classrooms and artist-in-residence spaces.


[Interstitial space between towers. Courtesy Allied Works Architecture. Photo © Jeremy Bittermann]

A large skybridge connects the new structure to the historic building.

In the East Block, visitors enter a central lobby that opens upward through the building’s five levels. Two helical staircases flank the lobby and fill the space between the towers. The main performance hall overlooks the lobby from the second floor, and serves as the building’s programmatic and structural centre.


[300-seat performance hall with flexible seating and movable acoustic wall. Courtesy Allied Works Architecture. Photo © Jeremy Bittermann]

Andrew Mosker, president and CEO of the NMC said:

"The National Music Centre is poised to become one of Canada's most significant national institutions, inspiring new generations of musicians and music lovers and catalysing the redevelopment Calgary's East Village as a core urban district.”


[View looking up from performance hall. Courtesy Allied Works Architecture. Photo © Jeremy Bittermann]

Images and content courtesy of AWA.

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