International shortlist revealed for architects to design landmark Centre for Music in London

by Cecilia Di Marzo
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The Centre for Music project has today announced the architects shortlisted to compete to develop a concept design for a new Centre for Music in the City of London.


In May, the Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, who are leading on the development of a detailed business case for the new Centre backed by £2.5million in funding from the City of London Corporation, launched an open selection process to shortlist companies for this role, seeking applications from internationally-recognised experts to develop plans for a state-of-the-art building of acoustic and visual excellence.

The project received applications from companies from across the globe and, following assessment of applications against the published criteria, the architects receiving an Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the contract will be:
- AL_A  (UK) and Diamond Schmitt Architects (Canada)
- Diller Scofidio + Renfro (USA) and Sheppard Robson (UK)
- Foster + Partners (UK)
- Gehry Partners LLP (USA) and Arup Associates (UK)
- RPBW - Renzo Piano Building Workshop (France)
- Snøhetta (Norway).

The Centre for Music is planned to contain a world-class concert hall, education, training and digital spaces, excellent facilities for audiences and performers, and significant supporting commercial areas. It would be a place of welcome, participation, discovery and learning fit for the digital age. At the heart of the City of London’s thriving arts venues and its emerging cultural hub, this landmark new building is planned to be a visible signal of commitment to the future of music that enhances London’s position as a world leading centre for the cultural and creative industries.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said:
“It is hugely encouraging that so many leading architects from around the world have responded enthusiastically to the challenge to develop a concept design for the Centre for Music. For them, it represents an exceptional opportunity to help realise the plans for this truly remarkable concert hall – outstanding in design and open to all - in the heart of the Square Mile. For the key partners behind this project and the City of London Corporation, this important announcement brings everyone a step closer towards one of the most widely anticipated and significant developments in the Square Mile’s vibrant cultural hub.”

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican; Kathryn McDowell CBE, Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra and Lynne Williams, Principal, Guildhall School of Music & Drama said:
“We are delighted with the calibre and expertise of the companies who responded to this opportunity to design a world class new Centre for Music in London and the strength of this international shortlist really demonstrates the excitement around this potentially transformative cultural project. We look forward to the next stage of the appointment process as we look to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a landmark new building that inspires current and future generations through the power and excitement of live music.”

The ITT that the shortlisted architects receive will request a detailed response to the design brief, the company’s approach to delivering the project, details of the team that would work on the project and a fee proposal.

Shortlisted bids will then be assessed and scored based on their tender submission and, following a detailed interview process with the assessment panel, an appointment decision will be made.

In addition to the architect shortlist, the partners are also pleased to announce the shortlisted firms for both the Civil and Structural Engineer contract and the Building Services Engineer contract, these are:

Civil and Structural Engineer
AECOM
- AKT
ARUP
- Buro Happold Engineering 
Ramboll UK
- WSP UK LTD

Building Services Engineer
- Aecom
- Arup
- BuroHappold
- Hoare Lea
- Max Fordham
- WSP UK LTD.

Further information about the engineering companies shortlisted for the project is available on request.

For the Acoustician and Theatre Consultant roles, there is no Selection Questionnaire process and an Invitation To Tender was made available to any Acousticians and Theatre Consultants interested in bidding for the contract. These are in the process of being assessed and the appointed companies will be announced over the coming months.

Barbican's press release

Comments
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