A world-class concert hall could soon be coming to Wimbledon. Here’s what you need to know and how you can support the project.
The future of Wimbledon Town Centre needs to be influenced by us all, and perhaps we are making progress towards an international venue for making music in the community.
Anthony Wilkinson says “I have recently received about 4 emails every day in support of the concert hall. Since the Observer news story on Sunday, I have received 33 this morning alone, and also been contacted by the New York Times, and the Architects’ Journal.”
Frank Gehry, architect of such iconic buildings as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, has already designed a concert hall for London – in Wimbledon.
“Concert hall are the most exciting projects for me. To be the person who has the opportunity to help you make this happen in Wimbledon is very exciting. I’m in!”
Frank Gehry, Wimbledon Concert Hall Architect
Think what this could mean for Wimbledon: some fine architecture at last, a crown jewel in London’s cultural life. A soul for the community. And a potential source of huge income for the benefit of Merton. Gehry’s building in Bilbao has generated more than €4 billion for the local economy.
“To have a Frank Gehry designed concert hall in Wimbledon would be a total transformation of London concert life. It would have a global effect. With these buildings the influence goes beyond the art form.”
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Chief Conductor Philharmonia Orchestra
Many remember the promises made by the council when the Town Hall was lost to the community in 1987. The P3 car park was the designated site for a new hall. For more than 30 years we have been waiting.
“Ten years ago when I founded the Wimbledon International Music, it quickly became apparent that not only Wimbledon, and Merton, but the whole swath of South West London can offer few spaces other than churches for community events and music making.”
Anthony Wilkinson, Trustee
Wimbledon plans are for a 1250 seat hall, the perfect acoustic size for a symphonic music, with a stage large enough for dance, opera, jazz, pop music, and a choir of 200, so that the Wimbledon Choral Society can at last come home. It will be used by local community groups, a much needed educational resource for schools and the work of Merton Music Foundation. With café and restaurant it could become the beating heart of the community.
“London is the musical capital of the world with 5 great symphony orchestras and a multitude of small ensembles, it has a great public, but they never hear these orchestras as they really are because London lacks the great halls these musicians deserve.”
David Whelton, former CEO Philharmonia Orchestra, who for 30 years has taken the orchestra to perform in the great halls throughout the world
The Trust has achieved with local donations what the L.S.O/Barbican project has with several million from government and city resource. It has assembled a formidable team of consultants, produced a cogent and detailed Business Plan, produced an inspiring set of designs by a world-class architect, attracted written interest from major international groups, and started negotiations with London Borough of Merton who own the site.
What is needed now? Your help to achieve a positive expression of support from the council in order to convince a lead philanthropist to donate many tens of millions to secure and name this iconic cultural building.
Wimbledon Concert Hall urgently need your support. If you can donate to the development fund that would help build a solid foundation to move forward. And everyone can make their voices heard and put pressure on the council.
“London has a great need for a world-class hall and Wimbledon can offer the perfect site. The great concerts halls of the world have the power to change lives and inspire, to leave legacies that run through generations.
There is a compelling vision of what is possible here in Wimbledon.
We have Frank Gehry, a location, a brand, and a determined team committed to ensuring the wonder of our musically rich city keeps its leading place on the world stage.”
Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, Wimbledon Concert Hall Patron
Sign your support for Wimbledon Concert Hall here >