When the Museum of London moves from its current London Wall site to Farringdon in a couple of years time, it will leave a large empty space behind, and now plans have been shown off as to what might happen. The site had originally been earmarked for a new concert hall, but that was cancelled last February in favour of upgrading the Barbican instead. Since then, the City of London has been looking at what could go there instead.

Part of the reason for the museum move is that both the current buildings are not fit for modern requirements, and that the site itself, partially on a roundabout and highwalk is hard to find for people not familiar with the museum. There’s also an adjacent office block which would be difficult to bring up to modern standards.

The initial indicative suggestions would see the whole site cleared, the roundabout’s northern roads merged into the development so that the roundabout effectively ceases to exist. On this site, three new office blocks could be built with a large open space in between them to reveal more of the Roman London Wall, and the hidden fort that’s currently hardly ever seen as it’s in a locked basement.

An artist’s impression of the site looking north (c) Diller Scofidio + Renfro / City of London

As there will be a large street-level park and open space, they initially think a curved walkway can then link the street level to the Barbican’s existing high walks and pedways.

At this stage of the consultations, the scale and footprint of the buildings and public realm that will occupy the site are still being considered, but they cite the nearby London Wall development, where a lot more open public space has been created along with the new offices.

Indicative image of London Wall West looking north from St Martin le Grand (c) Diller Scofidio + Renfro / City of London

Alongside the conventional office rents, they propose affordable workspace packages for smaller companies looking to be based in the City.

The consultation is here.

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6 comments
  1. JP says:

    This abomination at the end of the consultation document says all you need to know about it, in my humble opinion:
    Underneath a cross-section it coyly names it

    “Green valley and cultural anchors”

    Life’s too short to be dealing with this poncy nonsense.

  2. Chris says:

    They should ban people using the colour green in these plans. Almost always used to mislead and seduce people into believing they’re going to get something they’re not

  3. Chris Rogers says:

    Despite knowing the City and this saga well I wasn’t aware any consultation was open. The site is slightly unclear as to who its “we” is – it has an .org address but carries the CoL site as a link, and there is no ‘team’ page saying who runs it, though the download makes it obvious that it is in fact the CoL running it. Certainly London Wall Place is a good model for addressing the barrier of the 1960s development, but as for the rest..

  4. Lizebeth says:

    Is there any way at all to make The Barbican “approachable”? I doubt it.

    What will end up being built is just more huge boxes — whether concrete or glass. Does it matter? We just hope the surrounding area isn’t badly affected (e.g. behind The Barbican), as it is still mostly on a human scale.

  5. Kathryn Firth says:

    While I am all for rationalising the ground plane I am surprised by the proposal to provide office space. Do we not have a glut of office space and a shortage of housing?

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