Team for Barbican Renewal Selected

John Hill
28. April 2022
Photo: Max Colson

Three months after five teams were shortlisted for the Barbican Renewal Project, the collaborative design team led by Allies and Morrison and Asif Khan Studio has been selected to renew the icon of brutalist architecture.

According to yesterday's announcement of the winning team for renewing 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 Barbican, designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in the 1960s, is a Grade II-listed building and as such any changes need to retain and respect its original architecture. With sustainability at its core, the statement continues, the winning team's "vision" has "a strong focus on reusing and retrofitting existing spaces to minimize the project’s carbon footprint and environmental impact" while "bringing underused spaces into new creative use."
 

"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 respect the Centre’s significant heritage value, but it opens a myriad of opportunities for creative, inclusive reinvention."

Simon Fraser, Partner at Allies and Morrison

The winning team, selected from a five-team shortlist that included David Adjaye and Bjarke Ingels, also includes Buro Happold (engineering and sustainability), Alan Baxter Ltd. (heritage), Charcoalblue (theatre and acoustics), Hood Design Studio (landscape), les éclaireurs (lighting design), and Isaac Julien and Nadia Fall (artistic advisors).
 

"This renewal project will care for the things we all love about the place, solving parts which could have been better, but most importantly helping to open up the Barbican to London and Londoners in ways that couldn’t be imagined before. The incredible team we have assembled to bring about this change are embarking on this journey with great excitement and dedication to the vision for the Barbican’s new life."

Asif Khan

Although the five shortlisted teams proposed design options for the project, the winning scheme is not publicly available at this time; their "vision will now be refined and developed," according to yesterday's statement, "including extensive engagement with the Barbican’s stakeholders." The team is required to deliver "multiple design options" for the project, whose budget could range between £50m to £150m, subject to the approval of the City of London Corporation.

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