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Architect sought to design concert hall on Museum of London site

The UK’s City of London Corporation is searching for an architect to design a new concert hall on the Museum of London site next to the Barbican

The tender calls for draw up conceptual plans for a new “state-of-the-art building of acoustic and visual excellence” on the location currently occupied by Powell & Moya’s 1976 museum.

The scheme aims to deliver an “inspiring and innovative” venue on the 140–150 London Wall plot, which will be cleared after the museum moves to its new Stanton Williams and Asif Khan-designed home in West Smithfield.

Commenting on the search for an architect, Barbican managing director Nicholas Kenyon, LSO managing director Kathryn McDowell and Guildhall School of Music & Drama principal Lynne Williams said: “Today’s announcement is the latest stage in the development of this potentially transformative cultural project.

“Our aim is to recruit the strongest possible team of outstanding architects and experts from across the globe 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.

“We want to recruit the strongest possible team of outstanding architects and experts.”

City of London lord mayor Andrew Parmley said: “Visually striking, acoustically perfect and open to all, a new Centre for Music – facing St Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern – would be an important investment in the strength of the Square Mile and our neighbouring communities.”

A government-backed study, drawn up by Arup and Arup Associates, said London lacked a venue with “brilliance, immediacy, depth, richness and warmth” and risked “falling behind other major cities with the proliferation of outstanding new 21st-century halls across the world”.

The report echoed concerns aired previously by conductor Simon Rattle, who will become musical director of the London Symphony Orchestra later this year, and has previously spoken critically of the quality of London’s performance venues.