Allied Works Architecture (AWA) doesn’t enter open competitions often. The Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas was a rare exception for the firm. Just as that school project was finishing up, AWA principal Brad Cloepfil found the brief—and site—for the National Music Centre of Canada (NMC) in Calgary, Alberta, too intriguing to pass up. Cloepfil had visited Calgary as a teenager, making a stop in the city’s infamous King Edward Hotel, which housed a seedy but much-loved blues bar. It is around that century-old landmark that Cloepfil’s spectacular new building for NMC, called Studio Bell, takes shape.