The first images of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s competition-winning and much-anticipated new concert hall at the Barbican have been revealed
Earlier this month the project’s backer and client, the City of London Corporation, approved £2.5 million for further work on the New York practice’s proposed Centre for Music.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro landed the landmark scheme in autumn 2017 when it was selected ahead of rival bids from practices including Amanda Levete, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Snøhetta and Renzo Piano.
The concert hall, with an expected build cost of up to £288 million, will be constructed on the London Wall site that will be vacated when the Museum of London moves to a new Stanton Williams and Asif Khan-designed home in West Smithfield.
Talking about the new hall a few weeks ago, City of London Corporation policy chair Catherine McGuinness said: ’The proposed centre for music would attract outstanding performers and diverse audiences, and it is my sincere hope that creative businesses, which contribute a huge amount to the UK’s economy, would be proud to engage with this landmark building.’
The Centre for Music project is backed by the Barbican, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
According to the original tender notice, the winning practice will draw up conceptual plans for a ‘state-of-the-art building of acoustic and visual excellence’ on the prime plot currently occupied by Powell & Moya’s 1976 museum.
It is understood the new scheme will feature a series of ’commercial spaces that will support the construction and running costs of the building, enabling it to operate without ongonig public subsidy’.
The concert hall is not Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s only UK project. Last May it won the Victoria and Albert Museum’s competition to design a £25 million collections centre on the Olympic Park in east London and is working on Greenwich Peninsula’s answer to New York’s High Line, which the practice also famously designed.
Since then the US practice has narrowly missed out on a string of high-profile schemes in the UK, including the London School of Economics’ new Paul Marshall Building, the Royal College of Art’s £108 million extension to its Battersea campus and Manchester’s £110 million The Factory arts space.
The judges in the Centre for Music contest praised Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s approach as having ‘most clearly met the vision and ambition of this project’. The jury said the firm’s proposal would ‘deliver a world-class concert hall in an outstanding new building’.