Designs for new ‘world class concert hall’ in London announced

Designs have been unveiled for a new “world class concert hall” on the site of what is now a London roundabout.

The Centre For Music, which will have a road running underneath it, will be built if its backers can secure around £288 million of funds from commercial backers and philanthropists.

Famed conductor and London Symphony Orchestra music director Sir Simon Rattle is behind the plans.

The Corporation of London is providing almost £2.5 million to fund a business case for the centre, which will provide a new home for the London Symphony Orchestra.

If it gets built, it is hoped that the “world class concert hall” will have the same impact on music in the capital as the opening of Tate Modern had on contemporary art.

The building features a 2,000 seat “floating” concert hall, restaurants and public space.

Concept design for the entry plaza of the Centre For Music
Concept design for the entry plaza of the Centre For Music (Diller Scofidio And Renfro)

Organisers say that they are “working with a number of major potential donors” from the corporate sector and are at the “early stages, but making good progress”.

Sir Simon has previously complained that the orchestra’s Barbican home is too small and that some of the concerts there could even breach health and safety rules.

Asked whether Brexit had hindered ambitions for the centre, Sir Simon said: “This won’t make anything easier…

“But … we have to place our confidence in the extraordinary cultural life of this country and support it.”

And he added: “It’s important for us to remember that there are other things going on in this country other than Brexit.”

The design concept for the Concert Hall at the Centre For Musi
The design concept for the Concert Hall at the Centre For Music (Diller Scofidio And Renfro)

The road running underneath the venue will not be a problem, Sir Simon said, partly due to state-of-the-art acoustics.

“The idea of the road going underneath is one of the most radical parts of the plan, but the concert hall is … really lifted,” he said.

The venue, planned for a site which includes a roundabout and is currently held by the Museum of London, would be run by the Barbican arts centre.

The Museum of London is moving to the West Smithfield area of the capital.

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