Simon Rattle's Centre for Music hunts for design team

Dave Rogers

Team press on with plans after being thrown funding lifeline earlier this year

Backers of the planned new home of the London Symphony Orchestra have begun the hunt for a design team for the venue set to replace the current home of the Museum of London.

The scheme, which has an estimated price tag of £278m, seemed doomed last November when Theresa May’s government withdrew funding.

Former chancellor George Osborne had previously allocated £5.5m at the end of 2015 to bankroll a detailed business plan.

But the scheme, called the Centre for Music, was handed a lifeline earlier this year when the City of London Corporation pledged up to £2.5m to help produce the business case which is due to be completed at the end of next year.

The Centre for Music project, led by partners the Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama under the leadership of conductor Simon Rattle, wants a concept design that will be sent in along with the business case next December.

Teams have been asked to consist of an architect, building service engineer, civil and structural engineer, acoustician and theatre consultant.

As well as a concert hall, the scheme will include education, training and digital spaces along with “significant supporting commercial areas”.

The Museum of London is relocating to a new site in nearby West Smithfield with that project, designed by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan, set to open in 2022.

Under the Centre for Music plans, the existing Museum of London at London Wall will be torn down.

Appointing an architect is the first stage of the process with practices given until June 9 to send in their submissions. Details on how to enter can be found here.

Up to six firms will be shortlisted and asked to send in tenders with each firm picking up an honorarium of £10,000.

The panel that will pick an architect winner includes Rattle, London Symphony Orchestra managing director Kathryn McDowell, Royal Opera House chief executive Alex Beard along with Eva Jiricna Architects founder Eva Jiricna, Publica director Lucy Musgrave and LSE professor of urban studies Ricky Burdett.

 

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