Concept unveiled for £288m London concert hall

23 January 2019
Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Diller Scofidio + Renfro



United Kingdom

Diller Scofidio + Renfro reveal designs for new world class venue

The first concept designs by Diller Scofidio + Renfro have been released for a new world class centre for music in London, planned by creative partners the Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This update follows recent news that the City of London Corporation has backed the next phase of work by providing £2.49m for the partners to undertake further design development for the £288m venue, and to progress fundraising, business modelling and capital funding plans.

The Centre is intended to inspire a new generation with a love of music, by providing a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the joy of performance first hand. Elizabeth Diller, founding partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said: 'The foyer would be abuzz day and night, filled with activity and glimpses into the inner life of the Hall. We imagine a concert hall for the 21st century that embraces both a bespoke and a loose fit approach: tailored for exceptional symphonic sound, yet agile enough to accommodate creative work across disciplines and genres.'

From street level, a set of amphitheatre stairs links to the Barbican Estate’s distinctive Highwalk, and branches up to integrate the different performance spaces and facilities. The concert hall accommodates 2,000 audience members, seated round all sides of the stage. At the very top of the building stack is The Coda, a flexible contemporary performance and events space with views across the London skyline, acting as a beacon to establish the centre as a new cultural destination.

The proposed site sits on a key cultural axis between two major new Elizabeth Line stations, linking north from Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. Alongside the building, the designs propose reimagining and transforming the layout of the surrounding public realm. Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director, London Symphony Orchestra and Artist-in-Association, Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama said: 'The idea that there can be a new cultural centre in London, in Culture Mile, and in the middle of it - a truly great international, modern concert hall of our time, equipped for everything of this age - is very exciting.’

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 15.05.2017 here

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