NY-Based Diller Ar­chi­tects to De­sign New Lon­don Con­cert Hall

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Mark Sny­der

The Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra and the Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama has se­lected the New York ar­chi­tec­tural firm Diller Scofidio & Ren­fro to de­sign their fu­ture home, the Cen­ter for Mu­sic. This will be Diller's first big project in Bri­tain.

The ar­chi­tec­tural firm de­signed sev­eral high-pro­file projects, in­clud­ing Zaryadye Park in Moscow, the High Line in New York and the Broad Mu­seum in Los An­ge­les. Diller is cur­rently work­ing on two New York projects: The Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art's ren­o­va­tion as well as col­lab­o­rat­ing with Rock­well Group on the de­sign of a new arts cen­ter called The Shed to be lo­cated on Man­hat­tan's west side.

In 1981, El­iz­a­beth Diller and Ri­cardo Scofidio founded the New York-based firm. Also, on the list of ar­chi­tects to be con­sid­ered for the Lon­don project were Frank Gehry, Nor­man Foster, he Nor­we­gian stu­dio Sno­hetta and Renzo Pi­ano.

The panel charged with choos­ing an ar­chi­tect for the project said in a state­ment that “of the six ex­cel­lent sub­mis­sions, Diller Scofidio & Ren­fro's vi­sion­ary ideas of­fered the ex­cit­ing po­ten­tial to cre­ate a Cen­ter for Mu­sic fit for the fu­ture that of­fers ac­cess and en­gage­ment for all.”

Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, “The Cen­ter for Mu­sic, which will in­clude a con­cert hall with up to 2,000 seats, fa­cil­i­ties for ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, and com­mer­cial spa­ces, is planned for the site of the Mu­seum of Lon­don, close to the Bar­bican Cen­ter, the cur­rent home of the Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra. Si­mon Rat­tle, the orches­tra's new mu­sic di­rec­tor, has cham­pi­oned the project, ear­lier this year de­scrib­ing the Bar­bican as un­suit­able for about 20 per­cent of the reper­toire he would like to cover. The Mu­seum of Lon­don is mov­ing to an­other nearby site, a set of va­cant Vic­to­rian mar­ket build­ings. There has been ex­ten­sive de­bate in the Bri­tish news me­dia about the vi­a­bil­ity of a ma­jor new Lon­don con­cert hall, ex­ac­er­bated last Novem­ber when the Bri­tish govern­ment drew back from a com­mit­ment to con­trib­ute 5 mil­lion pounds (about $6.5 mil­lion) to pay for a busi­ness plan. The City of Lon­don Cor­po­ra­tion came to the res­cue with £2.5 mil­lion (about $3.3 mil­lion) that al­lowed project to go ahead. The fi­nal cost is es­ti­mated as $2.6 to $3.3 mil­lion, to be raised through pri­vate and phil­an­thropic do­na­tions.”

Ms. Diller re­leased a state­ment say­ing that her firm tried “to make a hub where peo­ple want to spend their time, with or with­out a ticket.”

The new Cen­ter for Mu­sic will be con­structed on the Mu­seum of Lon­don’s cur­rent site. (Photo via Mu­se­u­mofLon­don.org)

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