Standing at 93 metres tall, the Blues Tower takes allows for blues music to reach great heights. The tower was designed in response to the various high-rise buildings being erected within Ottawa’s downtown core along with an underlying ethos to build with time. Three different mass configurations are phased from 2015 to 2025 and are implemented within a towering steel frame with each phase adding on to the height and massing of the tower. The first phase begins excavation and the construction of a separate auditorium from The First Baptist Church. The second phase adds classrooms and student spaces for the Blues Institute above the auditorium and introduces a connecting atrium into The First Baptist Church. The third and final phase adds more private programs onto the tower such as the institute’s recording and writing spaces, vinyl record archives with private listening pods, living quarters for visiting musicians as well as a hotel with outstanding views of the Nation’s Capital.
The building carries a raw aesthetic through the use of materials and construction techniques that allows for an evolving quality of the building, much like the raw and dynamic quality of blues itself. Many spaces and voids within the Blues Institute allow for interaction with the local community and the First Baptist Church.
Status: School Project
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA