Plans for a new concert hall in the City of London have been cancelled as the City decides to revamp the Barbican Centre instead. The new concert hall, the Centre for Music had been planned to sit on the site currently occupied by the Museum of London, after the museum moves to its new home in Farringdon.
The concert hall had been seen as a solution to complaints from music lovers that the Barbican Centre’s own facilities are too small and have some acoustic issues. The concert hall was seen as not just solving that issue but also acting as a hub for musicians, although sitting it on the old Museum of London site, when the Museum was moving out partly because their site was considered difficult to find was always going to be a hard circle to square.
Although it fitted in with the City’s aim to increase its cultural offering, it was starting to look like an expenditure that was insensitive to the current economic situation. And while it was never about one man, the recently announced plans by its main cultural cheerleader, Sir Simon Rattle to leave the LSO in 2023 wouldn’t have helped.
Instead of the new concert hall — the City of London plans to revamp the Barbican Centre instead. A selection process to find an architect-led team to take that project forward, whilst respecting its Grade-II listing status, will be launched later this year.
The Barbican Centre marks its 40th anniversary next year, and the revamping project is expected to be announced in time for the anniversary.
A further grant from the City of London for the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), which is based at the Barbican, has also been confirmed.
Now that the Centre for Music has been cancelled, alternative plans for the Museum of London’s soon to be vacant site is expected to be announced later in the year.