Frank Gehry with concert hall model

The council has agreed an exclusivity period to work with the trust to develop proposals for the council’s Hartfield Road car park in Wimbledon. The site is designated in the Merton Local Plan for a range of town centre uses including a cultural venue.

The proposal

The proposal is for a 1,250-seat capacity international concert hall, designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Frank Gehry. His portfolio includes a wide range of commissions including the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Talking about the Wimbledon proposals, Frank Gehry said:

Concert hall projects are the most exciting for me … I love the people, I love the challenge of it … I love music more almost than life itself. Having someone come to me with a concert hall project, my eyes light up. I’m in!

Concept image of Wimbledon Concert Hall

Concept image of Wimbledon Concert Hall

Our collaboration

The Wimbledon Concert Hall Trust and Merton Council want the concert hall to be a new community focus for the town centre, building on the council’s Future Wimbledon masterplan. Merton Council welcomes this important first step to ensure the trust’s fundraising work is successful as the agreement is on a commercial, market-focussed basis. Cllr Eleanor Stringer, Merton Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Civic Pride said:

Our shared ambition recognises the changing nature of our town centres and the desire for more cultural and social activities at the heart of our communities. Wimbledon may already be global name thanks to the tennis Championships; but the opportunity to develop an international cultural venue fits well with our plans to reinvigorate Wimbledon town centre, drive footfall and add to the existing cultural offer of the borough for visitors and our local community alike.

Anthony Wilkinson, Chair of the Wimbledon Concert Hall Trust, whose patrons include Dame Darcy Bussell DCE and Vladimir Ashkenazy, welcomed the news. He said:

The Council’s pro-active decision allows us to further develop the Gehry scheme with the local authority and put in place our funding to deliver our vision.

Further information

Wimbledon Concert Hall website