Diller Scofidio + Renfro announced for 'transformative' London Centre for Music

We aspire to make a hub where people want to spend their time, with or without a ticket
– Elizabeth Diller

US architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been announced as the design team tasked with creating the vision for a new Centre for Music in the City of London.

The studio, which will work in collaboration with UK firm Sheppard Robson, has come out on top of a star-studded six-strong shortlist, that also included Snøhetta and the firms led by Amanda Levete, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano.

The Barbican performing arts centre, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama launched the competition for the cultural venue – billed as “a state-of-the-art building of acoustic and visual excellence” that will “enhance London’s position as a world-leading centre for the cultural and creative industries”.

The development team envisions a landmark building located on the London Wall site currently occupied by the Museum of London – which will soon relocate to a new home in West Smithfield designed by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan.

It plans for the Centre of Music to include a world-class concert hall for the LSO and visiting orchestras; education, training and digital spaces; excellent facilities for audiences and performers; and significant supporting commercial areas.

DS+R’s design concept will inform a detailed business case for the project, backed by £2.5m funding from the City of London Corporation, which will be produced by December 2018.

The judging panel – including architect Eva Jiricna and LSO music director Sir Simon Rattle – said that the studio’s proposal “most clearly met the vision and ambition of this project, utilising their experience of creating inspiring new spaces for culture”.

Elizabeth Diller, a partner at DS+R, said the studio is “thrilled to have the chance to create an important cultural building for London, our first in the UK".

“We look forward to working with three of London’s greatest institutions and the opportunity to align their artistic, educational and civic visions for the Centre for Music,” Diller said. “The new building will meet the needs of artists and audiences today with a keen eye toward the future. It will be sensitive to the inherited character of the Barbican and its vital role in Culture Mile, while directly engaging the contemporary urban life of the city.

“We aspire to make a hub where people want to spend their time, with or without a ticket.”

The studio has previously delivered major cultural and public realm projects in the US and internationally, including the High Line in New York; The Broad contemporary art museum in Los Angeles; and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley.

Forthcoming projects include The Shed multi-purpose theatre and an expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), both in New York, and the Museum of Image & Sound on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

It will work on the Centre for Music with sound designers Nagata Acoustics, theatre consultant Charcoalblue, structural engineer BuroHappold and cost consultant AECOM.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro  London Centre for Music  London Symphony Orcestra  Barbican  culture  architecture 
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