Published on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
With a refreshing outlook and an uninhibited embrace of modern technology, the recently opened New World Symphony Academy in Miami Beach is a feat of architecture as well as creative cleverness.
Promoting the ambitious project is Michael Tilson Thomas, Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America's orchestral home yet the catalyst behind it is Frank Gehry. Tilson Thomas’ long developed vision was not simply to design a new venue for the out-dated Lincoln Theatre, yet to push the limits of contemporary architecture and create a novel space for the presentation of classical music.
Perhaps unimpressive at first glance, the structure is in fact replete with technology: plugged into a state of the art, Internet 2, high speed connection the building houses 17 miles of fibre optic cable, enabling global participation with outside orchestras.
However, the most astonishing element of the plan is its ability to connect with the community: the designers having struck a chord with a younger audience as most classical performance venues face the threat of a dying out audience.
Enticing the youth, Gehry allowed a plan for alluring glimpses into the performance space; the exterior glass has the lowest iron content available, giving the highest transparency, showcasing the inside of the building and the atrium. With some five million people walking by every year, the stakes are high.