Rhinegold Photo credit: Courtesy of Diller Scofidio and Renfro
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Lucy Thraves


First concept designs released for new London concert hall

11:15, 21st January 2019

The Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Guildhall School of Music & Drama have released the first concept designs for a new Centre for Music in London. These have been developed by lead architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The update follows the City of London Corporation’s backing of £2.49m for the three partners to undertake further design development, and to progress fundraising, business modelling and capital funding plans.

The new building would be a venue for performance and education across all musical genres, situated on the current Museum of London site to the south of the Barbican.

02. Concert Hall. Concept Design - Centre for Music. Courtesy of Diller Scofidio and RenfroCurrent estimates for the cost of the centre’s core elements are £288 million. Above these elements are a series of commercial spaces that will support the construction and running costs of the building, enabling it to operate without ongoing public subsidy.

In a joint statement, the Barbican’s Sir Nicholas Kenyon, the LSO’s Kathryn McDowell CBE, and Lynne Williams of the Guildhall said: ‘The Centre for Music would enhance the status of London as one of the world’s leading cultural capitals, delivering major new benefits to the city and the UK’s musical life, educational offer and international reputation.

‘We believe the project would have the equivalent impact on music in the capital as the opening of the Tate Modern had on contemporary art almost two decades ago.’

Catherine McGuinness of the City of London Corporation said: ‘The proposed Centre for Music would be a landmark building in the City’s emerging Culture Mile, and arguable become regarded as the envy of the international arts, music and educational community.

Diller Scofidio and Renfro
Exterior view. (c) Diller Scofidio and Renfro

‘Visually breathtaking, acoustically perfect, and with a stated commitment to being totally inclusive, the Centre for Music would bring together outstanding performers and diverse audiences.’

The next phase of work on the project is expected to take approximately one year to complete.



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