DS+R Selected for Centre for Music in London

John Hill
10. October 2017
L-R, top to bottom: Amanda Levete, Elizabeth Diller, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Kjetil Thorsen (Snøhetta) (Photos courtesy of Barbican)
The Centre for Music project in London has announced that New York's Diller Scofidio + Renfro, working with London's Sheppard Robson, has ben selected to design the new Centre for Music near the Barbican.
DS+R and Sheppard Robson bested five architects/teams that were shortlisted in July: AL_A (UK) and Diamond Schmitt Architects (Canada), Foster + Partners (UK), Gehry Partners, LLP (USA) and Arup Associates (UK), Renzo Piano Building Workshop (France), and Snøhetta (Norway).

Although DS+R is still best known for their work, with James Corner Field Operations, on the High Line on Manhattan's West Side, it's their transformation of Lincoln Center, including the redesign of Alice Tully Hall, that has best prepared them to design a permanent home for the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to that role, the Centre for Music will host musical performances from the Barbican, as well as performances from touring artists and orchestras from across the UK and the world across a range of genres.

The preferred site is just steps from the Barbican on land now occupied by the Museum of London, currently developing plans to move to a larger site at West Smithfield. The announcement was not accompanied by DS+R's ideas for the site, but the design team is expected to submit a concept design to the City of London Corporation by December 2018.

DS+R's Elizabeth Diller said in a statement:

My studio is very honored to be chosen from among this stellar group of architects and thrilled to have the chance to create an important cultural building for London, our first in the UK. We look forward to working with three of London’s greatest institutions and the opportunity to align their artistic, educational and civic visions for the Centre for Music. The new building will meet the needs of artists and audiences today with a keen eye toward the future. It will be sensitive to the inherited character of the Barbican and its vital role in Culture Mile while directly engaging the contemporary urban life of the city. We aspire to make a hub where people want to spend their time, with or without a ticket.

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