Music Innovation Center | Spring 2010
Instructors: Brad Cloepfil, Keith Alnwick, Brent Linden | Allied Works Architecture
The Portland Music Innovation Center on the Rose Quarter in Portland OR. deals with issue of landscape, environment and infrastructure, education and recreation, economic development and civc memory. The prompt for the studio was described by Brad Cloepfil as the impossible program on the impossible site. My concept to overcome these issues is to stitch the program and landscape of the Rose Quarter with the urban fabric of the rest of the city on the other side of Interstate 5. I propose to do this by using a physical bridging of the Interstate to bring a seamless transition from one-side to the other. The program of the institute will help facilitate this transition by joining musical performance and the artisans of the city through discovery and creation of the instrument (the embodiment of the impermanent).
The character of the institute was the driving force of the MIC. To me music has two faces; one of performance and one of craft. This is truly exemplified in the world’s most valuable instruments, where these objects are given value based on pedigree (the stories of who played them) and attribution (significance of who made them). While either one of these factors can make an instrument valuable on its own, absolute reverence is given when the two divergent stories are embodied into a single instrument. The Rose Quarter is currently forced to stand on its own, separated by freeways and thoroughfares; striped from its connections to rest of the city. Here opportunity exists to join the two programs of the performance currently designated to the Rose Quarter and the craft created in the city, recreating that reverent connection.
I am proposing stitching these two urban spaces of the city and the Rose Quarter in the form of a bridge over I-5 that would create a new connection to symbiotic districts, venues, and institutions. The program and massing of the MIC would be separated in terms of performance and education, but would be stitched together by the exhibition spaces; allowing the instruments to tell the stories of each side and how they are bound together. The overall experience created by moving through and within the building is a didactic understanding of performance’s appreciation of where sound comes from and education’s purpose of creation.
The building deals with the issues of separation and joining primarily in two ways; tectonics and circulation. The tectonics issues are a response to the needs of the program, specifically issues of light quality and control. The walls that separate the programs control also direct the movement through the space. The circulation deals with the ground plane, and the rise that is needed to bridge the highway. By creating a visual connection that differ from the physical connection, exploration is encouraged within the building. Bringing together the elements of tectonics and circulation creates a stitch between the two faces of the MIC, as well as the Rose Garden to the city, by creating a landscape that offers both a visual and physical connection.