Bella Concert Hall
EGLA-LARGO 4338 at Taylor Center for the Performing Arts at Mount Royal University in Calgary
Pfeiffer Partners Architects, in cooperation with Sahuri + Partners, designed the Mount Royal University Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, a world-class entertainment venue where arts and music are combined in a unique manner
The Canadian Mount Royal University in Calgary has more than 14,000 students. In 2001, an expansion program for the Mount Royal University was planned in order to fulfill the rising number of students. Due to this expansion program, nearly double the number of students can be accommodated.
One part of this expansion program is the Taylor Center, based on the Lincoln Park Campus, which was designed for LEED Gold certification. In a certain way, the architecture of the building reflects the geographical location of the venue. The Rocky Mountains and the expansive prairie of Alberta provide the inspiration for the design of the Taylor Center.
Offering an idea of country in the city, the Taylor Centre has been designed by Pfeiffer Partners Architects to resemble a barn. Aged metal, grey stones and big glass areas, which help to flood the interior with natural light, characterize the exterior of the Taylor Center. Inside the building there is a warm, inviting atmosphere caused by the color of the cherry-wood walls.
“A contemporary interpretation of the rural barn on the expansive prairie of Alberta inspired our choices in materials, structure, and color throughout the project,” said William Murray, principal with Pfeiffer Partners.
Bella Concert Hall
The centerpiece of the project is undoubtedly the Bella Concert Hall. The 800-seat theater is named after Mary Belle Taylor, the matriarch of the Taylor family, which supports the Mount Royal University generously.
Because of the fact, that the Bella Concert Hall will be used by variety of arts – wind ensembles, chores, pianists as well as jazz and popular musicians – a lot of importance was attached to the acoustics. It was a major challenge to ensure very good acoustics with pristine sound. The striking feature of the Bella Concert Hall is the ceiling design, which is crowned with a wood-paneled, acoustically-engineered ceiling shaped like an Alberta rose.
“Within the concert hall itself, the expressed structure echoes heavy timber construction, while the abstracted image of the Alberta Rose is the crowning feature in the design of the acoustical reflectors.” said William Murray. In addition to this acoustic element, oversized ductwork helps to reduce background noise, while a computer-controlled acoustical system ensures the venue is flexible enough to host a variety of events.
Designing Concert Halls with W.S. Tyler Architectural Mesh
Inside the Bella Concert Hall, the architects from Pfeiffer Partners Architects chose W.S. Tyler Design Mesh EGLA-LARGO 4338 for the wall and ceiling claddings. The three-dimensional curved cladding consists of Architectural Mesh elements, which were mounted under pre-tension onto steel frames. Due to the three-dimensionality, each mesh element has different shapes and dimensions. No element is like the other. The dimensions of the mesh panels vary from 1 x 0,5 m up to 4×3 m.
In order not to interrupt the uniform color design of the Concert Hall, the shiny metallic architecture meshes were painted in a special color. The colored mesh elements blend harmoniously into the interior design of the concert hall and bestow it with timeless elegance an expressive character.
Due to their textile structure, wire meshes combine air permeability and acoustic neutrality with optical unity of the entire image. Thanks to the surface finish of the semi-transparent meshes, the function of ventilation systems, air-conditioning and sprinkler systems – in contrast to other materials – remains without restrictions.