New York’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled concept designs for a Centre for Music in London.
All Images: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Words by Amanda Birch
New York-based design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled concept designs for a world-class Centre for Music on the current Museum of London site.
At the heart of the new centre will be an ‘acoustically perfect’, timber, 2,000-seat concert hall, sitting atop a pedestrian plaza and foyer with additional spaces for performance, education and rehearsal. Four floors of commercial space will rise above, together with a restaurant. Crowning the stack will be The Coda, a flexible, intimate venue for contemporary performance with spectacular views towards St Paul’s Cathedral.
Commercial space and a restaurant will also form part of the building
‘We want to unlock the urban potential of the Centre for Music’s site at the southern tip of the Barbican by reclaiming the roundabout for the public realm, where the car’s isolating effects are keenly felt today,’ says Elizabeth Diller, founding partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
‘A vital public space seamlessly connects to the foyer and extends a welcome to everyone, with or without a performance ticket. The foyer would be abuzz day and night, filled with activity and glimpses into the inner life of the hall.’
St Paul’s Cathedral will be visible from the top of the building
Diller adds that the inspiration for the state-of-the-art concert hall, where the plan is for the audience to wrap around the orchestra, are the geological formations of layered strata. The space will therefore be quite steep, enabling every seat in the house to have a good view. Breakout areas will also be employed for musicians to perform within the audience.
The proposed look for the entry plaza
It is intended that the new centre will create an iconic gateway to the City of London’s emerging Culture Mile, drawing people into an area that is set to be transformed over the next decade. The vision for the landmark building is to bring together three internationally recognised cultural organisations – the Barbican, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama – to inspire a new generation with a love of music.