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Metz Bicentennial Carillon Indiana University | Bloomington, Indiana | 2020

Metz Bicentennial Carillon Indiana University | Bloomington, Indiana | 2020

Architects: Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture Design PLLC.
Lead Architect: Susan T. Rodriguez
Associate Architects: Browning Day

General Contractor: Weddle Bros. Construction Co., Inc.
Client: Indiana University
Photographers: Image Hadley Fruits and James Brosher, Indiana University

Set within the landscape of the Indiana University Arboretum, the Metz Bicentennial Carillon marks the intersection of Music, Landscape, History, and Student Life.

The Carillon was designed to mark the bicentennial of the University’s founding, replacing a previous design from the 1970s. Its new location, directly north of I.M. Pei’s recently renovated Eskenazi Museum of Art, recasts the landscape as an outdoor concert hall with the Grand Carillon as its centerpiece.

Framed by gates of the historic stadium, the Carillon lies at a crossroads of campus movement at the confluence of three existing campus pathways, creating a new focal point and gathering place on campus.

The radial configuration of the Carillon is defined by six limestone piers that form the primary structure of the tower. A series of smaller vertical fins complete the framework of the structure above. Horizontal steel hubs visually and structurally unify the tower and provide lateral bracing.

The overall ensemble, a modular kit of parts, supports the instrument — bass, treble bells, and playing cabin, including 65 bells weighing approximately 88,000 pounds.

A spiral staircase within the glass enclosure provides access to the console and micro-classroom for the carillonneur, students, and faculty from the Jacobs School of Music.

The tower extends campus WiFi into the surrounding landscape, transforming the Arboretum into an outdoor reading room.

The addition of four new bells to the original 61 creates a Grand Carillon, one of fewer than 30 in the world. The largest bell is almost seven feet in diameter and weighs 12,152 pounds.

Women were not among those quoted on the original bells. The new bells, each with inscriptions that celebrate the voices of women, include Emily Dickinson, Hildegard of Bingen, Sappho, and Maya Angelou.

Music from the 128-foot-tall instrument reverberates across campus, establishing the Carillon as both a visual and acoustical campus beacon. The Carillon rang for the first time on January 20th, 2020, in celebration of the University’s 200th Anniversary.

“One thing that encourages the heart is music. Throughout the ages, we have created songs to grow on and to live by. We Americans have created music to embolden the hearts and inspire the spirit of people all over the world.” — Maya Angelou

Metz Bicentennial Carillon
Metz Bicentennial Carillon
Metz Bicentennial Carillon

American Architecture
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