A collaborative design team led by Allies and Morrison and Asif Khan Studio has been selected to renew the famed Barbican Centre in London, United Kingdom. The winning design proposal preserves the building’s original architectural language and provides new opportunities for the center's diverse community of artists, audiences, and partners, boosting the building’s accessibility and performance quality.
The collaborative team was commended for highlighting "equity, diversity, and inclusion" within the design process, ensuring that the building "reflects the creative energy of all London’s communities, with safe, accessible, and welcoming spaces for everyone". Sustainability was also taken into account, as the design features a strong focus on reusing and reconfiguring existing spaces and reimagining neglected ones, to minimize the project’s carbon footprint.
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, Founder and Owner of Asif Khan Studio
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The Barbican Centre is a part of Culture Mile, the City of London’s cultural district, welcoming over a million people yearly for events and performances. The Barbican is currently introducing a new creative vision which aims to promote a more inclusive, diverse, and accessible center. As a next step, the winning design team will now refine and develop their vision, and create multiple design options which will be deliverable within a construction budget of £50m to £150m, an amount approved by elected Members of the City Corporation.
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
sthe 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 was chosen among a five-team shortlist, which included Buro Happold, Alan Baxter Ltd, Charcoalblue, Hood Design Studio, les éclaireurs, and artistic advisors Isaac Julien and Nadia Fall. The entries were evaluated by a 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.