The City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee has voted to reduce the size of proposals to redevelop Bastion House and the existing Museum of London site, in response to feedback from extensive public consultation.
The City Corporation has been consulting on the scheme, known as London Wall West, since Spring 2021.
The width of the building proposed to replace the Museum of London will be reduced by three metres, while the building proposed to replace Bastion House will be reduced by two metres.
The scheme’s design team will now amend the design and prepare a 3D model so a final proposal for London Wall West can be presented next year, ahead of submitting a planning application.
The Museum of London is planning to relocate from its London Wall site to Smithfield, while Bastion House would face significant structural challenges to accommodate the major works needed to upgrade it to meet the standards expected for a modern office block.
The City Corporation’s proposals ensure a viable future for the site, supporting the City’s recovery and meeting the robust demand for high-quality, modern and sustainable office accommodation in the Square Mile.
A significant proportion of the proposed scheme will be cultural and community space while the financial return from redevelopment will help finance the City Corporation’s investment in ambitious cultural programmes, such as the new London Museum.
Chairman of the City Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, Chris Hayward, said: “We have listened to feedback from residents on the Barbican Estate, delivering on my personal pledge to reset our relationship with our residential communities.
“In response to this feedback, we have reduced the size of the buildings as much as is possible without compromising the feasibility of the scheme.
“Given the financial return will be reinvested in the City Corporation’s commitments to major cultural programmes, such as and the new London Museum at Smithfield, ensuring the scheme remains viable has been an important consideration.
“The amended scheme will support the Square Mile’s recovery, delivering sustainable, high-quality offices, providing flexible cultural space and enhancing the public realm for everyone to enjoy. We believe it will benefit residents, workers and visitors.”
The City Corporation also explored retaining the existing buildings.
However, this study of options – with technical input from internationally-respected engineering firm Buro Happold – concluded that refurbishment would leave a compromised building unsuitable to today’s demands.
It also found that Bastion House is unsuitable for the extent of interventions required to upgrade the building to meet today’s demands due to the significant structural and fire safety challenges that would need to be overcome.