London picks wrong site for Simon Rattle concert hallmain
A feasibility study for a new London concert hall has decided that the present Museum of London site is a viable option, according to Mark Boleat, the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources chairman.
The Museum itself would move to West Smithfield.
That’s a terrible decision on both counts.
1 The Museum, close to the Barbican concert hall has the same impediments of access, parking and high land cost.
2 Far from residential areas the concert hall will not attract a new public. The Museum failed to do so, either. The local amenities are miserable.
3 The cost of building in the middle of the Square Mile is prohibitive – half a billion pounds, at current estimates. Ridiculous amount compared to the general global cost of a concert hall.
4 A concert hall on the museum site would replace one concrete monster with another. London deserves a hall of beauty, something to please the eye.
5 If anyone is is using the Smithfield site it ought to be the new concert hall. That’s where the real public lives – in Islington and points north.
The present scheme is cack-handed, panicky and celebrity driven. More thought is needed. The next mayor of London needs to put a stop to this nonsense.
The debate widens here.