Barbican Centre renewal design team revealed

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barbican centre renewal

The winning design team to lead the Barbican Centre’s renewal has been revealed.

A collaborative design team led by architects Allies and Morrison and Asif Khan Studio, has been selected to deliver a multi-million-pound renewal of the Barbican Centre.

The project will preserve the iconic building’s original architectural vision, provide new opportunities for the Barbican’s diverse community of artists, audiences, and partners, and boost the building’s accessibility and environmental performance.

The winning team, chosen from a five-team shortlist, also includes engineering and sustainability consultancy, Buro Happold; heritage experts from Alan Baxter Ltd; theatre, acoustic, and digital consultancy, Charcoalblue; landscape architects, Hood Design Studio, lighting design agency, les éclaireurs, and artistic advisors Isaac Julien and Nadia Fall.

The team has considerable experience in major heritage and cultural projects, and have delivered projects for organisations including Tate Britain, the V&A, Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, Oakland Museum of California, and more.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Barbican Centre Board, Tom Sleigh, said: “The team showed total commitment to preserving the Barbican Centre building as a much-loved global icon, while ensuring it remains a leading creative centre for generations to come.

“We’re delighted to have this world-class design team working with us to help deliver our creative vision, while also making major improvements to the Barbican’s environmental performance.

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“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the future of this iconic centre for arts and learning, and strengthen its ability to play a leading role in the recovery of the City, and the capital, from the pandemic.”

Their winning vision has sustainability at its core, with a strong focus on reusing and retrofitting existing spaces to minimise the project’s carbon footprint and environmental impact.

This approach will make sensitive and sustainable improvements that will retain and respect the Barbican’s Grade II listed architecture, while bringing underused spaces into new creative use.

Commenting on their appointment, Simon Fraser, Partner at Allies and Morrison said: “We are looking forward to working with the Barbican Centre, the City of London Corporation, residents, and Londoners of all communities, to uncover the full potential of a place that so many people love, and to invite and enable new work and audiences for the next forty years.

“We are interested in the notion of ‘revealing’, of finding places of untapped potential within and around the walls of the Barbican. Not only will this approach offer substantial savings in embodied carbon, and respects the Centre’s significant heritage value, but it opens a myriad of opportunities for creative, inclusive reinvention.

“It has been a pleasure assembling and collaborating with a multidisciplinary team that has the lived experience to take on this exciting task. For all of us, this will be the project of a lifetime.”

All shortlisted bids were assessed by an evaluation panel which included external specialists in equity, diversity and inclusion, and heritage and sustainability, alongside representatives from the City Corporation and members of its Barbican Centre Board, and senior Barbican Centre staff.

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