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Comps insider: Search for City of London concert hall design team nears

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Within hours of Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie opening in Hamburg, the City of London Corporation wiped the tears from our envious eyes by resurrecting plans for a new concert hall on the Museum of London site next to the Barbican

The announcement came two months after the government dropped its financial support for the £278 million City venue for the London Symphony Orchestra proposed by its new conductor Simon Rattle, saying it no longer represented ‘value for money’.

The corporation, which holds around £1.3 billion in cash reserves, will now spend £2.5 million drawing up a detailed business case to test whether it is viable to build the hall on part of the 140-150 London Wall site, currently home to the Museum of London (pictured) and office block Bastion House.

As part of the study, set to complete next year, the corporation will commission an architect to develop conceptual plans for the landmark new building, which will replace Powell & Moya’s 1976 Museum of London.

The proposed redevelopment would follow the planned relocation of the museum to West Smithfield, where a competition-winning design by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan is set to be built.

And with the London Wall site in such a prominent position, next to Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s treasured Barbican, it’s likely an international design contest will be held for this commission too.

Elsewhere in the capital, Haringey Council has announced plans for a £3.5 billion regeneration of Wood Green town centre. Masterplanned by Fluid, the project will deliver 5,500m² of employment space, improved public realm and 7,800 new homes over the next 15 years.

The council is promising opportunities for architects to deliver individual schemes, mini masterplans, placemaking and public-realm strategies and meanwhile projects, as the regeneration moves forward. The local authority and its partners are also ‘open minded’ about launching design competitions for certain contracts.


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