New York design firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro has released the first concept designs for the proposed London Centre for Music, a world-class performance and music arts education facility. The Centre for Music will be operated by arts education organization the Barbican, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At present, the proposed project site is occupied by the Museum of London and will become available once the museum moves to a larger site in the locality of West Smithfield, although an exact date for the move has not been confirmed.
The project leads at Diller Scofidio + Renfro are co-founder Elizabeth Diller and architect and partner Ben Gilmartin. Their vision for the space includes a world-class concert hall along with functional spaces for performance, rehearsal, and music education. The design incorporates a tapering stack of distinct volumes and a multi-level foyer.
“The foyer would be abuzz day and night, filled with activity and glimpses into the inner life of the Hall,” says Diller. “We imagine a concert hall for the 21st century that embraces both a bespoke and a loose-fit approach: tailored for exceptional symphonic sound, yet agile enough to accommodate creative work across disciplines and genres.”
The Centre for Music is a major undertaking, with the core elements of the build valued at over $373 million. At present, the planning and design development phase of the project has received $3.2 million in funding from the City of London Corporation, the city’s municipal governing body. The funding will also support fundraising, business modeling, and capital funding plans. Once the Museum of London completes its move and vacates the site, Diller Scofidio + Renfro estimates a four-year build time to complete the Centre for Music. The site is located on London’s emerging Culture Mile, which also hosts city landmarks such as the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.