PAU’s design picked to expand Ohio’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is on the shore of Lake Erie shore next to the Great Lakes Science Centre (Rona Proudfoot/CC BY-SA 2.0)

New York designer PAU (Practice for Architecture and Urbanism) has won a competition to extend the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. 

The building was designed in the nineties by IM Pei as a series of geometrical solids: cubes, prisms, and cylinders are juxtaposed “like an explosive musical chord”. 

They contain a 175-seat auditorium cantilevered 65 feet over Lake Erie; a theatre-in-the round on top of a single column in the lake; a 50m tower that also rises from the water; and a triangular glass “tent”.

To this extraordinary assemblage, PAU is proposing a triangular addition that adds 4,650 sq m to the tent. 

PAU’s plan view of the addition

The new space will be clad in black steel and granite and topped by greenery, roughly doubling the size of the museum.

There will be a new lobby, a performance space, classroom, and 1,350-seat event venue. 

Reinvented exhibition spaces, new food and beverage offerings, and a rethought circulation system that extends into the landscape are also on the cards.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, the founder of PAU, said the aim was “to showcase the past, present and future of rock & roll as the defining sound of each generation’s youth”.

“Our design welcomes visitors by pulling the forces of the city, the lake, and Pei’s pyramid together into a new triangular composition that centres on a dynamic, aural, and inclusive public interior that flows from the streets to the waterfront – a destination that declares ‘this must be the place’.”

Work on the $135m scheme is expected to begin in October and complete in 2025

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