Musical houses: 9 elegant buildings inspired by classical music
June 25, 2021, 2:55 PM
We explore the most breathtaking music-themed buildings and spaces in the world.
We saw classical music housed in some pretty spectacular spaces – from ornate operas and iconic, vaulted concert halls, to sensational architectural monuments and a natural environment of breathtaking beauty.
But the music, in turn, inspired real buildings. And the most inspiring of them, for us, are the architectural wonders that are literally music–shaped and built around giant musical instrument designs.
Here are some of the most amazing examples from around the world.
Read more: Discover the most beautiful concert halls in the world
Building for violin and piano, city of Huainan
The Shannan District of Huainan City in China is home to this form-defying building, which is not one glorious musical instrument but two.
A perfectly proportioned glass violin, which houses the building’s entrance, elevator and staircase, leans against an unwavering grand piano containing concert halls and practice spaces.
Dancing House, Prague
The “City of a Hundred Spiers” houses a (literally) breathtaking glass tower amid its dark Gothic and Baroque facades.
Nationale-Nederlanden’s financial services building, located on Rašínovo nábřeží in Prague, is nicknamed the Dancing House – Tančící dům in Czech – or Fred and Ginger, in memory of the beloved couple Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
The building is the ingenious invention of the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić, in collaboration with the famous Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry.
Read more: An opera singer, an empty Hollywood Bowl and 3 minutes of beauty we all need.
Singing house, Dresden
From a dancing house to a singing house …
Tucked away safely in Dresden’s student district, Neustadt, is this magnificent building that makes music at the first drop of rain.
Located in an art complex called the Neustadt Kunsthofpassage (‘Art Courtyards’), the melodious House is the idea of the sculptor Annette Paul, and the designers Christoph Roßner and André Tempel, who wanted to increase this melodious lapping of rain on the windows …
Music Box Village, New Orleans
Music Box Village is a community art project that features distinct “musical houses” celebrating New Orleans artistic genres.
“Each installation is inspired by the unique musical and architectural culture of our hometown of New Orleans and represents a collaborative process between artists based here and abroad,” says the Creative Space website.
The Guitar Hotel, Hollywood FL
The gigantic and glitzy Guitar Hotel in Hollywood, Florida is part of the recently expanded Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort. The 450-foot glass-fronted guitar houses 638 luxury guest rooms and suites and was designed to resemble back-to-back guitars. An elegant light show illuminates the striking building every evening.
Old Schmitt Music Building, Minneapolis
Minnesota’s musical landmark is the Old Schmitt Music Building in the city of Minneapolis.
Its facade housed the score of Ravel’s piano suite Gaspard of the night for years. As the name suggests, this building is the former headquarters of the Schmitt Music music store.
The late grand prince posed here for the ultimate musical selfie.
Holiday Inn, New Orleans
Holiday Inns tend to be pretty mundane, don’t they? Not this one. The Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome is adorned with a giant and incredibly detailed clarinet mural.
We saw a lot of guitars; violins and pianos both create striking shapes for buildings, but we see this modest member of the wood family less when it comes to architecture. So big accessories to the artist Robert Dafford for giving the clarinet its day in the sun (and in the rain, sometimes).
The hotel sits opposite the house where iconic jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong grew up, and doubles as an art museum dedicated to the region’s rich cultural history.
Lullaby Factory at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London
Patients at the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building, part of the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, were at the forefront of this breakout musical conception.
The Lullaby Factory, created by Studio Weave, features brass-like structures and creates its own music, which can be heard through the hospital’s bedside entertainment system or online.
David Sheppard Architects unveiled a home fit for a pianist when he completed the sleek, curved “Chimes” building in 2014.
The private one-bedroom room was the home of a pianist who had made only one request: to make the space suitable for my two pianos and their resplendent music.
The curves of the house evoke the unique shape of the piano with ingenious economy, while making the sound of the instruments resonate with expertly planned acoustic elements.
Click here to view the chimes and learn more.