Munich concerthall costs go through the roof

Munich concerthall costs go through the roof


norman lebrecht

July 09, 2021

The latest estimate for a new concert hall in Munich is 750 million Euros. That’s six times the original budget.

One MP says it will exceed one billion Euros.

Read full story here.

The same would have happened in London if Simon Rattle got his way.

As it is, the cost of researching and talk about a london hall will have topped £10 million.


  • Alviano says:

    They have to spend more than Hamburg did. The honor of the city and Bavarian Free State requires it.

  • Emil says:

    Meanwhile, Montreal got a world-class hall 15 years ago for 259 M$ (Canadian), including maintenance for 20 years. A bargain!

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    Skyrocketting building costs are as old as the Pyramids.

    And you remember why the Egyptians ended up building pyramids, don’t you?
    Initially, c u b e s were planned.
    But exploding expenses forced cost-cutting measures, every inch of the way up.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    At least Munich is getting a spanking new concert hall while London, yet again, goes without. Rattle had a vision for London which the Tory government backed down from after a change of management – post Cameron and Osbourne. London’s concert halls are tired, not acoustically up to the job at all, and definitely not state of the art. Whilst I soaked up many glorious performances with the London orchestras under world class conductors in my formative years as a musician – and slipping through the secret panel at the Royal Festival Hall to chat with conductors and soloists as an autograph-hunting teenager – London really should have a world-class concert venue. It is 2021 after all.
    I believe that Birmingham’s Symphony Hall is the best concert hall in the UK and – as readers will remember – this was Simon Rattle’s baby. Until our politicians actually give a toss about the future of the arts in the UK and put their backs into properly funding top class performance venues for orchestral concerts, this nation will always be dragging its heels; unable to compete with the newest european venues. Wait, tho! I hear some say, we’re in the middle of a deadly Pandemic how could we justify spending all that money on a posh concert hall for posh people? Artistic vision! Something we seem to have lost amongst our out of touch politicians in this country.

    • Helen says:

      Part of the problem, IMO, is that the desire for an architectural masterpiece will take precedence over acoustic needs, AND push the cost up.

      Anyway, how many modern buildings are actually loved?

  • John Borstlap says:

    The idea is crazy anyway – Snowwhite’s coffin.

  • Robin Smith says:

    The real question it seems to me is to explain exactly why costs have gone through the roof. Was the original budget incorrect ? Which costs have got out of control ? How were the contracts with builders drawn up and why were they not for fixed sums ? In my experience (customized manufacture for very substantial sums) contracts are for fixed sums. Cost over runs are the manufacturers problem.

    Are there any lessons to be learned from previous builds of new halls ?

    • Saxon says:

      You generally pay a premium for that kind of contract…and even more for any alterations in the design.

    • Concert Hall Designer says:

      There is (probably) no contract, because there is basically no completed design, yet… The planning of such buildings takes years – the design team was only announced a little more than two years ago, which is about how much time it takes to produce complete working drawings (pandemic notwithstanding). Thus the initial estimates (like Hamburg’s, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, and the Stuttgart Hautpbahnhof) were totally pie-in-the-sky. It’s very difficult to price an architecturally unusual and technically complicated design without the design having been fully produced, and a common contracting structure in Germany relies on the contractor to produce a majority of the working drawings. When projects are publicly funded, there is also less incentive to get the initial cost estimate correct… (not just in Europe; c.f. any transportation infrastructure project in the USA)