Boston's Berklee College of Music doesn't do anything quietly. So when we heard they were designing a cultural complex to house their new contemporary music school in Valencia, Spain, we were expecting big things. Judging by plans put forth by the aptly named Ensamble Studio, they delivered.
Designed by Antón García-Abril, the proposed complex will be situated in Valencia's city center, an historic cultural mecca with the highest number of musicians per capita of any European region. The structure consists of two basic elements – a two-story plinth, or horizontal base, and a 24-story vertical tower. But this is no ordinary ivory tower.
Comprised of four-story blocks piled vertically in a gradual rotation, the tower forms a "helix of spaces" that will be home to open-air urban plazas where students can meet, socialize, and create music, all while looking out on spectacular views of Valencia's historic quarter, the Valencian orchard, and the Mediterranean Sea. The plinth is conceived as a massive public space with a capacity for 15,000 people. In addition to providing an elevated area for artistic and cultural activities, it will accommodate an auditorium and a residential area for teachers and students.
Images: Ensamble Studio