Curtain Raised on London Music Center Concept by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama recently released Diller Scofidio + Renfro's first conceptual design for the proposed Centre for Music in London. Earlier, the City of London Corp., which is the seed-funder for the project, announced it is providing another $3.3 million for design development, fundraising and more, for the estimated $380-million performing arts center.
Design development should take about a year. In addition to the lead architect, the team, selected in late 2017, includes design consultants Sheppard Robson, Nagata Acoustics, Charcoalblue and BuroHappold. AECOM is the cost consultant.
The center would be located on the current Museum of London site, after the museum relocates. The design proposes transforming the layout of the museum site, including traffic-free public spaces, while linking to the Barbican Estate’s Highwalk network.
In addition to the core program, the concept includes commercial spaces that would support the construction and operations of the building, theoretically enabling it to operate without ongoing public subsidy.
The concert hall is designed as a space for up to 2,000. The audience would wrap all sides of the stage in a surround-seating configuration. A clerestory public gallery with views down toward the stage and out to the city would filter daylight into the hall while providing an event space. A restaurant and terrace, with city views, would cap the auditorium. The Coda, a flexible, intimate contemporary performance and events space with a view to the London skyline, would top the building.
The venue would be run by the Barbican Centre, enabling the arts center to significantly expand its international program across all genres. Digital technology would be fully integrated into the building’s design and infrastructure, enabling music and education activity to be distributed to a global audience.