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Barbican Lakeside

The Barbican Centre is one of London’s most ambitious and unique architectural achievements; it is a global icon of brutalist architecture, renowned for its scale of ambition and consistency of design. The Barbican’s development was a visionary project, with architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon seizing the opportunity to propose a radical transformation of how we live. The Barbican Centre is seeking a team that can work in a similarly bold and creative way to deliver an exemplar to the world of how a heritage building can be renewed.

There’s a pressing need to make changes to the Barbican building so that it continues to meet the needs of 21st century artists, audiences and communities. The Barbican Centre is looking for a team that can develop design solutions that will preserve and respect the complex’s original architectural vision and heritage, while adapting it to respond to the creative opportunities and urgent challenges of today’s world.

This renewal project will consider the Barbican building in its entirety. It will explore how to adapt the Barbican’s spaces and venues to improve the experience of audiences and visitors at every point of their journey, from the sense of welcome and belonging on arrival to major improvements to wayfinding and look and feel across the building. It will address the critical need to make major improvements to the building’s environmental performance, delivering sympathetic but effective adaptations that help achieve an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions from operations to net zero by 2027.

The project will underpin ambitions to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across our organization, by ensuring all our spaces are safe, accessible and welcoming for everyone. The goal is to open the Barbican building up so many more people feel a sense of ownership and belonging in this unique urban environment. This requires a team that represents a wide range of lived experience, and that can work on a sustained programme of outreach and engagement to co-design spaces that meet the needs of local communities, underrepresented groups and those with specific access or other additional needs.

There is also a huge opportunity to bring currently under-utilized spaces across the Centre to life. The Barbican contains many spaces that currently don’t meet their full potential, but with the right interventions, car parks, Exhibition Halls and other public and outdoor spaces could be adapted to deliver so much more in support of our creative and commercial ambitions. As the Barbican enters a period of significant change, the centre is looking for a team that can propose radical and original solutions to reimagine the possibilities of an arts and learning centre for a new generation.

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