Attractions industry news

11 Jul 2017

Gehry, Piano, Foster and Levete among star-studded shortlist for landmark City of London concert hall

A host of leading international architects are in the running to create a concept design for a new Centre for Music in the City of London.

Snøhetta, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the firms led by Amanda Levete, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano have all been shortlisted in the international competition for the concert hall; billed as “a state-of-the-art building of acoustic and visual excellence.”

In May, the Barbican performing arts centre, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama launched the architecture competition. The winning design will inform a detailed business case for the project; a study backed by £2.5m funding from the City of London Corporation, which will be produced by December 2018.

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.

They said the venue would be “a place of welcome, participation, discovery and learning fit for the digital age” and “a visible signal of commitment to the future of music that enhances London’s position as a world leading centre for the cultural and creative industries.”

The London Symphony Orchestra would call the venue home, while touring musicians and the Barbican’s family of orchestras and ensembles would also perform there.

The orchestra’s designated musical director, Sir Simon Rattle, has long argued that the capital desperately needs a world leading centre for the music and creative industries to avoid being left behind by other world cities.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “It is hugely encouraging that so many leading architects from around the world have responded enthusiastically to the challenge to develop a concept design for the Centre for Music.

“For them, it represents an exceptional opportunity to help realise the plans for this truly remarkable concert hall – outstanding in design and open to all - in the heart of the Square Mile.”

The shortlisted practices will now develop detailed responses to the design brief and set out their approach for delivering the project; details of the team that would work on the project, and a fee proposal.

The bids will then be assessed and scored based on their tender submission and, following a detailed interview process with the assessment panel, an appointment decision will be made.
The competition jury will include the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard; the managing director of the Barbican, Sir Nicholas Kenyon; the principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Lynne Williams; architect Eva Jiricna; and Rattle himself.

The full shortlist of the architectural and engineering teams is listed below:

Architects

• AL_A (UK) and Diamond Schmitt Architects (Canada)

• (USA) and Sheppard Robson (UK)

• Foster + Partners (UK)

• Gehry Partners, LLP (USA) and Arup Associates(UK)

• Renzo Piano Building Workshop (France)

• Snøhetta (Norway)

Civil and Structural Engineers

• Aecom

• AKT

• Arup

• BuroHappold

• Ramboll

• WSP UK LTD

Building Services Engineers

• Aecom

• Arup

• BuroHappold

• Hoare Lea

• Max Fordham

• WSP UK LTD

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