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Four buildings inspired by music

Both a pleasure to the senses, music and architecture can go hand in hand. Even terms like texture, layering, and harmony often interchange between the two disciplines. Inspiration takes many forms, and music has had a fascinating influence on many buildings of today. Here are four of our favorite buildings inspired by music.

Dancing House – Prague, Czech Republic

The Dancing House is the moniker given to Prague’s Nationale-Nederlanden building. Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić, in cooperation with Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, designed the building in 1992, and it was completed in 1996. Per Wikipedia, Gehry originally named the house Fred and Ginger, after dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but was later “afraid to import American Hollywood kitsch to Prague.”

Kunsthofpassage, Dresden, Germany

Not too many tourist attractions are best visited on a rainy day. Known as a student district, Kunsthofpassage is a series of five courtyards – each with a different theme – not visible from the street. Sculptor Annette Paul and designers Christoph Roßner and André Tempel, who all live in the building, created the work. When rain starts to fall, the colorful drain and gutter system turns into a musical instrument. Paul says she was inspired by living in St. Petersburg, Russia, where bad weather would create a ‘rain theatre’ on the windows of her house.

Schmitt Music Building, Minneapolis

Known for a backdrop of an iconic Prince photo in 1977, the building’s façade hosts the score of Ravel’s piano suite Gaspard de la Nuit. Schmitt Music Company chose the piece due to its visually appealing set of notes. While the company has since left the location, the current owners, The Creative Partners Group, have no plans to paint over the façade.

But get your selfies while you can. The Star Tribune reported this year that the parking lot where Prince once stood has been sold to developer Hines, who is expected to build a high-rise office building. It’s expected that development may wait some time as the office market hopes to rebound.

Piano Building, Huainan, China

Designed by architectural students from Hefei University of Technology, China’s Piano building is a 50:1 scale of a piano and violin. The violin is made from clear glass panels and contains escalators and a staircase for the main building, which houses two concert halls. Per Designing Buildings Wiki, “the piano structure is built on three concrete legs and is made from hundreds of black glass panels interspersed with clear and white glass to represent piano keys. A roof terrace is sheltered beneath a canopy shaped like the propped-open lid of a piano.”

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