Florence’s new Parco della Musica complex is an intricate programme ensemble: an urban architecture designed as a music venue for opera and all other kinds of musical performance, it is also a landmark building knitting together different parts of the city. Built to group the many, highly specific, requirements of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival in one location, the new complex also creates a physical and conceptual bridge between the historic town and the Parco delle Cascine area, a trait-d’union between the ancient stone gem that is the city centre and the surrounding landscaped countryside. ABDR’s programme is appropriately “monumental”, a solidified urban landscape fitting seamlessly into its setting. At the same time it is a highly functional technological unit with large halls for concerts and opera in which acoustic excellence is generated by architectural prowess. Accessory spaces include rehearsal rooms, prop-making workshops and accommodation for all the other activities of staged performances. The architecture comprises built volumes, ramps, terraces, staircases, semi-enclosed spaces and views. Although converging on the complex, external distribution pathways are an orderly continuation of public routes in the area. Boulder-like geometries form huge masses of different textures accessible from all sides by broad approach ramps and stairways. A paved public concourse rises to meet a sturdy leaning volume - a 1800-seat concert hall set at right angles to wide staircases on either side. Its sloping roof becomes the “cavea” of an open-air amphitheatre. The wide graduated steps are clad in porcelain stoneware tiles and can seat 2600 spectators. They flow like a great stone wave down towards the parallelepiped fly tower of the concert hall. A landmark, the tower stands alone, the highest point of the whole complex. Concert hall and fly tower differ not only in shape. The walls of the fly tower are clad in grey tiles whose staggered pattern provides varying visibility into the building while at the same time acting as a fixed sun-shading system. In contrast, the outer walls of the large concert hall are clad in more luminous Kerlite ceramic slabs. A less conspicuous 1000-seat concert hall to the side is also clad in Kerlite. Inside, public areas like foyers and distribution circuits are paved in porcelain stoneware tiles. Walls and ceilings of the performance areas are lined with acoustic-friendly multi-layer wood; the flooring is also in wood.