This strikes us as a curiously appealing concept:
[B]eneath Kings Place, 150 strides from Eurostar St Pancras, rumbles a cultural revolution. Peter Millican, the out-of-town developer who bought the land in 1999, has created an office block that will also present classical music concerts and art exhibitions, completely free of public subsidy.
This is the plan. Half of Kings Place is let to the Guardian newspaper, the rest to Network Rail and other tenants who pay a commercial rent. Restaurants, bars and other amenities will be open to the public from breakfast to midnight, just like any other gherkin on the map.
The difference, however, hits the eye as you enter the lobby. On the right of security is an open sculpture gallery with a fully-curated programme and a working artist, Abigail Fallis, in residence. Down one escalator flight is a visual art gallery.
Another flight down are the concert halls, one space with 420 seats, the other 220.
Along with the art galleries, the music programme is filling up with famous acts. The opening in October will present 100 concerts in five days featuring Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Musick; the Brodsky, Duke and Chilingarian quartets; the Classical Opera Company and the pianist Jean-Bernard Pommier.
Two groups, the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, are moving onto the site. Both are officially resident at the subsidised South Bank but it’s the private developer of Kings Place who is giving them waterside offices at peppercorn rent, as well as a free hand with programming content.