Visible Music College

The project sought to repurpose one of Memphis' most celebrated mid-century modern buildings into an urban music college. The abandoned bank in the heart of downtown was facing demolition when a young music college seeking a new home decided to save it. The college wanted a fresh and exciting character, while creating more functional spaces for that of a college environment. Fortunately, there was a desire to preserve the bones of the existing building by making minimal insertions into the concrete structure, allowing us to focus on interior renovations, as well as new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. 

The original building is a modest four-story structure serving as a backdrop for a dramatic landscaped, light-filled atrium. The design respects the atrium with new window boxes housing personal practice spaces. The boxes allow the color palette of each floor to be expressed upon entry. The new design places the atrium outside the envelope, reducing the energy load dramatically, and creating a street level urban park. 

The college is on the downtown trolley line and serves as a catalyst for a previously dormant part of the city.