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where some see challenges

we see an instrumental icon

Pushing the envelope with an exterior design that is both unique and timeless.

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Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre

191 total project cost
226000 custom glazed terracotta tiles
22 exhibition stages
160000 of program space
3 music halls of fame
2000 rare instruments and artifacts
7 years in the making
2 Alberta Construction Magazine awards for institutional design and construction
1 existing calgary landmark - the king eddy

An iconic example of harmonizing the need for performance and visual appeal.

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project slideshow


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Project Associate, Scott Baxter (Calgary, AB) and Project Manager, Nicole Parsons (Hamilton, ON) worked closely together throughout the construction, relying on technology to bridge the geographic distance between them.

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Scott conducted the majority of on-site technical review, checking that the construction aligned with the design specifications and shop drawing details.

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For milestones and critical items, such as the bridge glazing, multiple team members conducted reviews. This is a learning opportunity for junior staff and provides the client with the benefit of multiple sets of eyes.

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Close, detailed review is critical but standing back and observing the big picture is also an important part of on-site review.

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From a third floor roof, an active work area is visible, providing an overview of the construction prior to up close detailed review.

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Nicole Parsons from WSP and Saphron Skinner from CANA walk together reviewing the building. Open dialogue with the contractor is critical to a successful project.

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Observing the building from a distance allows inconsistencies or anomalies to be identified and flagged for up close review.

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In order to provide an envelope that would withstand the combination of strict interior conditions, including high humidity exhibition spaces, and extremely cold Calgary winters, every aspect of the assembly had to be carefully designed and installed.

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Due to the complex curves of the building each component of the cladding support system had to be individually adjusted in place, to provide the desired finished appearance.

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The final goal is a completed building that meets the design intent within the project parameters set by the client.

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The King Eddy - a historic landmark restored to its former glory, in both form and function.

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Existing bricks from the King Eddy hotel were salvaged and once again used to clad the building after it was reconstructed. Existing murals were meticulously deconstructed and later reinstalled.

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A new state of the art facility to celebrate Canadian music and enrich the lives of all Canadians.

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At the end of a large project, success is when no individual can claim credit for any specific aspect. Many experts, representing many companies, collaborated to make Studio Bell a success story.

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As a token of appreciation for the many hours of hard work and dedication, engraved bricks were installed as a way to highlight key individuals from the various teams that brought the project to life.

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