Winspear Centre’s 20th Anniversary: A Look Back at the Design

Winspear Centre’s 20th Anniversary: A Look Back at the Design

The Francis Winspear Centre for Music is celebrating 20 years of awe-inspiring performances in a concert hall that is world-renowned for its excellent acoustics. To celebrate the Winspear’s birthday, we’re looking back at the design that has stood the test of time, with more decades of entertainment to come.

“On the one hand we set out to design and build a hall that works at the highest national and international standards of acoustical excellence. On the other hand, we set out to create a hall that works for all kind of music and activity, and invites the community in and invites them to be comfortable in blue jeans or in a tux.”

– Doug McConnell, DIALOG Architect

Winspear Centre grew out of the community’s love for music. Over many years, far-reaching supporters including Francis Winspear raised funds for a concert hall dedicated to acoustic excellence. The results exceeded expectations, and it is sought after by performers from around the world, famous for its sound quality.

Keeping time

The project opened on schedule and without a single change to the price. Over 60,000 concert-goers graced the hall in its 9-day opening festival.

 “When you think about the performance chamber at the Winspear Centre, it is a blend of art and science. So the design needed to be hard and acoustic, but it also needed to be soft, warm and inviting to the audience. There was an intrinsic tension between the art and the science, but I also think that’s the strength of the room.”

– Donna Clare, DIALOG Architect

Sense of place

Five lines representing a music staff and the wandering North Saskatchewan River undulate along the chamber walls, along with impressions from leaves collected in Edmonton’s river valley.

Completing the ensemble

The tall, dramatic windows in the lobby allow the sparkle of lights and music lovers to shine out to Churchill Square and Edmonton’s Arts District. Winspear Centre is appropriately nestled in the downtown core alongside Royal Alberta Museum, Art Gallery of Alberta, Citadel Theatre, City Hall and Edmonton Public Library.

Leave a comment

That's super that you've decided to leave a comment! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated. So, please don't use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!