The team that will lead the revamping of the Barbican Centre has been announced, and they have a pot of between £50-£150 million to spend.
The architects brief outlines that the Barbican wants to open up some spaces that may not be fully used at the moment, while improving accessibility across the entire site, without changing, too much, the core appeal of the main building. The redevelopment of the Barbican Centre was chosen as the alternative to building a new concert hall on the soon to be vacated site of the Museum of London, and gives them an opportunity to fix some of the inherent problems with the Barbican Centre at the same time.
A design competition was announced last year, and a collaborative design team led by architects Allies and Morrison and Asif Khan Studio (who are also working on the new Museum of London) has now been chosen to lead the work.
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 previously worked on projects in London including Tate Britain, the V&A, Royal Festival Hall, and Shakespeare’s Globe.
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.”
“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.”
The winning design team’s vision will now be refined and developed, including engagement with the Barbican’s stakeholders.
Multiple design options will be created for the project, which will be deliverable within a construction budget of £50m to £150m. The budget for the project is subject to approval by the City of London, which owns and funds the Barbican Centre.