Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

DRDH or Haworth Tompkins to design London's new concert hall?


With news that chancellor George Osborne is backing Simon Rattle’s campaign for a major new concert hall in London, the AJ asks who should design it?

This week world-famous conductor Rattle made national headlines by claiming that the capital lacked a venue with the acoustics that would do justice to London’s best orchestras and musicians.

Now Osborne has announced an official viability study into the potential project, declaring that a new venue could give ‘significant artistic, educational and economic benefits’ to London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has already thrown his weight behind Rattle’s calls, stating the landmark building would bolster the capital’s claims to be the ‘world’s capital of culture’.

So here are six possible early contenders to design it - use the voting button right to select your favourite, or suggest alternatives in the comment box below.

The early runners and riders:

  • DRDH - newcomers to the concert hall-building scene, but already have the über-impressive, acoustically superb Bodo building in Norway under their belt. Time to give them a similar chance in the UK?

    DRDH's Stormen library and concert hall in Bodo, Norway

  • Haworth Tompkins - RIBA 2014 Stirling Prize winners and consummate professionals. The practice’s jaw-dropping back catalogue includes the Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre and mould-breaking Everyman in Liverpool.

    GVA Acuity's Everyman Theatre at night

  • Bennetts Associates - theatre stalwarts whose Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford was a Stirling Prize contender in 2011. Masters at re-jigging existing venues.

    Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres

    Source: Peter Cook

  • Zaha Hadid Architects - Always one for the big occasion, Hadid has form in the centrepiece concert hall commission having polished off the glistening Guangzhou opera house in 2010.

    Guangzhou Opera House, by Zaha Hadid Architects

  • Hopkins - The nearly 40-year-old practice has proved it can do venues. Glyndebourne Opera house (1994) and the Olympic Velodrome (2012) spring to mind. A safe pair of hands.
  • Frank Gehry - The 85-year-old American starchitect is still going strong and could more than handle designing a London showstopper to match the mirrored magic of his Walt Disney Concert Hall (2003) in Los Angeles.

    Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles



Readers' comments (4)

  • Of course this list isn't definitive - I'm sure RHWL [especiallly now with the Aedas powerhouse behind them], Foster + Partners and Dixon Jones would be in with a shout...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • erm waitey - what about:

    Flannagan Lawrence - royal welsh college of music and drama
    Allies Morrison – refurb of royal festival hall
    Page Park – refurb of theatre royal, glasgow

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And not forgetting Keith Williams of Malowe Theatre Canterbury, Wexford Opera House and Unicorn Theatre fame.
    Or Ian Richie...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • why wouldn't it be an open competition?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

Discover architecture career opportunities. Search and apply online for your dream job.
Find out more