Musical Instrument Museum

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Architect: RSP Architects
  • Client: Musical Instrument Museum

Project Highlights

  • Cast-in-place concrete with masonry bearing walls
  • Gallery, performance, library, retail, and recording studio
  • Shared digital 3D model
  • Winner of 8 awards including Best of the Best (Cultural) by ENR


Gathered inside this two-story, 180,000 square foot museum are musical instruments from cultures all over the world, displayed throughout 75,000 square feet of gallery space. Other areas of the museum include a 5,000 square foot visitor education and outreach center, restaurant, retail shop, 300-seat performance hall, conservation laboratory, library, and recording studio. The building’s structural frame is mainly composed of cast-in-place concrete with masonry bearing walls and post-tensioned roof. Tilt-up concrete panels (cast onsite) were also used. The entire project was designed using Revit, a 3D modeling software program, which allows project designers to interact using one digital model. Project designers initially created several digital scenarios to determine the best methods for meeting project criteria before proceeding with design development. One of the museum’s sustainable features is the use of geothermal energy, used to cool the performance hall portion of the building.