Her practice beat Foster, Gehry and Piano to clinch London's new £250m Centre for Music. She talks about fuelling gentrification – and why arts buildings have to be more than corporate baubles
‘We've never stopped being rebellious,” says Liz Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the New York architects who have just been selected to design London's new concert hall, the £250m Centre for Music. “But now we are operating in a stealthier way. Rather than trying to kick the establishment walls down, we're walking in through the front door.”
To reach the hallowed entrance of London's cultural establishment, they skipped past fellow competitors Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano and a host of other ageing purveyors of big‑budget arts buildings – an unadventurous shortlist, on which the Americans clearly stood out as the most interesting thinkers of the bunch. This will be their first project in the UK, and the stakes are high for the self-styled provocateurs.