London's new £288m symphony hall and why concert halls are so often late and over budget


Will Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s planned Centre for Music face the problems that dog so many major cultural projects?

There are perhaps only a few building projects that manage to garner the magical trio of architectural significance, vast sums of public money and national attention  – and for those that do, the attention is more often negative than positive. The expansion of a major airport may be one such scheme, as the endless national self-flagellation over Heathrow’s third runway proves. A new stadium may be another, as Wembley’s tortuous and high-profile seven-year overhaul also demonstrates. 

But as the laborious gestation of London’s Millennium Dome demonstrates, it is big national cultural projects that are uniquely placed to trigger that heady mix of controversy, profligacy and infamy that keeps tabloid headlines agog for years. And of this category of building, new national concert halls probably represent the most trying coterie of all.

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