London Calling

Diller Scofidio + Renfro announced as designers of London’s Centre For Music

Architecture International News
Diller Scofidio + Renfro announced as designers of London's Centre For Music. Pictured here: The Museum of London will be torn down to make way for the Centre For Music. (ZDE, Wikimedia Commons)
Diller Scofidio + Renfro announced as designers of London's Centre For Music. Pictured here: The Museum of London will be torn down to make way for the Centre For Music. (ZDE, Wikimedia Commons)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro have bested a shortlist that included Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Snøhetta and Foster + Partners, winning the commission to design the Centre For Music, the new home for the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

The Centre will be located near the Barbican complex in the City of London (where the Symphony currently performs), on a site now occupied by the Museum of London—which will move to a new home a half-mile west in West Smithfield. The Brutalist museum was designed in 1976 by Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya, 1974 winners of the Royal Gold Medal For Architecture. DS+R’s Centre is set to contain a concert hall with up to 2,000 seats, as well as classrooms and training spaces. Its cost, which reports estimate at between £200 and £250 million, is to be funded largely through private donations, although the City of London earlier this year chipped in £2.5 million for a business plan.

DS+R’s Alice Tully Hall and Julliard School, at Lincoln Center. (Iwan Baan)

Explaining their choice in a statement, the Centre’s architect selection panel said they felt DS+R “most clearly met the vision and ambition of this project, utilising their experience of creating inspiring new spaces for culture to present a proposal that delivers a world-class concert hall in an outstanding new building, as part of the re-imagination of a key area of the City of London within Culture Mile.”

Other members of the design team will include Buro Happold (civil and structural engineer and building services engineer), Nagata Acoustics (acoustician), Charcoalblue (theater consultant), and AECOM (cost consultant).

According to DS+R, a concept design will be submitted to the City of London Corporation by December 2018. The building will not just be a permanent home for the London Symphony, but will also host performances from the Barbican’s family of orchestras and ensembles and from touring orchestras and artists. It will be a vital piece of The City’s “Culture Mile,” a conglomeration of nearby arts facilities also including the Barbican, Milton Court Concert Hall, and more.

Rendering of DS+R and Rockwell Group’s “The Shed,” in New York’s Hudson Yards. (Courtesy DS+R)

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