List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: BARBICAN

List entry Number: 1352667

Location

BARBICAN

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
Greater London AuthorityCity and County of the City of LondonLondon Borough

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 05-Sep-2001

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 489705

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

History

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Details

TQ 321 NW BARBICAN

627/3/10212

GV II

Estate of flats, maisonettes and terraced houses, hostel, girls' school, school of music and drama, and arts centre (with concert hall, theatre, studio theatre, cinemas, library, art gallery, conservatory, restaurants and offices), with underground car parking, pedestrian walks and canal. Designed 1955-59, arts centre element redesigned 1964-8; built with modifications in 1962-82 to the designs of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon (subsequently Chamberlin, Powell and Bon (Barbican)) for the Corporation of the City of London; engineers, Ove Arup and Partners.

Poured in situ reinforced concrete with exposed surfaces largely pick hammered and with smaller areas bush hammered, exposing Pen Lee granite aggregate, with glazed engineering brick cladding to City of London School for Girls, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Wallside, the Postern and plinths to lakeside blocks and water features. Flat asphalted roofs, paved with concrete tiles in keeping with the wall finishes. The main blocks are supported by concrete columns forming an extension to the bored piles sunk up to 60ft deep. The tower blocks' main structure is formed by a central lift shaft and stairwells with a peripheral framework of beams and split piers rising from exposed columns; the structure of the terrace blocks is based in concrete cross-walls supported on columns with floor slabs spanning between the cross-walls and the balcony edge beams. Podium and the tower blocks have thick upswept concrete balustrades developed by Ove Arup and Partners in consultation with the architects in 1961.

Housing built 1964-75. 35-acre rectangular site developed with seven-storey blocks set on raised pedestrian podium with mews housing, basement storage and car parking below, for 2,500 cars, and with three triangular towers of 44, 44 and 43 storeys rising above. Most flats are served directly from lifts, but some blocks comprise flats or maisonettes set on a scissor plan around spinal corridor. Generally, there are similarities between the long east-west running terraces, and between the shorter north-south terraces, and this is true to a lesser extent also in North Barbican (Blocks XIV-XVIH). Blocks IX and XIII and the mews blocks are distinctive, and there are many variations to the layouts of the individual units. Blocks are described in terms of their number of storeys above podium level, which for North Barbican (blocks XIV and upwards) is a half-storey higher than that for the rest of the development. The different levels meet in the arts centre.

The terraces of flats are mainly set in pairs off top-lit stairwells and lift towers. All have a balcony, reached via sliding aluminium windows in thick varnished timber surrounds. These have concrete paviours, and some retain planting boxes. The interiors of the flats have cupboards by the front door containing letter boxes and metre boxes, and some retain kitchen cupboards, tiled bathrooms and a Garchey waste disposal system. The seventh-floor flats have high ceilings into distinctive round-arched roof spaces. Flats in the towers are larger, and with penthouse units that are larger still. The mews houses are designed to a simple yet high standard; these have not been inspected internally.

Blocks I, II and 111: Triangular plan with upswept balconies running round, jagged stepped tops containing penthouses, of up to three storeys with roof gardens. Below penthouse level there are three large flats per floor, the living rooms in the prows, served by a central triangular well with a lift on each side, which can be ordered from a common central control panel. Sliding timber windows, metal and glass balustrades, the steel uprights painted. Double-height glazed entrances, Lauderdale House also incorporating two ground-floor shops.

Block IV: Nos. 1-178 Defoe House. Seven storeys above podium with two storeys under. Twelve broad bays between giant concrete columns supporting cross beams, the ends of the beams on other floors exposed to form large bays. Each of these are subdivided into three room spans, forming a pattern for the flats along the facades of two and one units width between glazed firescreens. The podium is open, but with glazed entrances to the flats in each of the twelve bays. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and many with concrete window boxes, painted undersides of roof. 24 rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a distinctive white finish. The one-two pattern of the flats is explained by their being 'L '-shaped and having a double aspect, each pair wrapped around a central fully glazed lightwell containing staircase and lift.

Block IVB: Nos. 1-8 Lambert Jones Mews. Two storey houses of glazed engineering brick set forward of and below the level of the podium, reached via their own roadway, with granite setts continued as low walls to the fronts of the houses. Each house has a garage to the right of the front door. Doors and windows of timber under concrete lintels. First floor with corner windows and glazed doors under deep concrete lintels giving on to central stairs leading to roof. Paved near-flat roof, brick parapets with 1990s metal tops, behind which are slabbed roof gardens and projecting ventilated service or stores turrets. Interiors not inspected.

Block V: 101-114, 201-214, 301-314, 401-414, 501-514, 601-614, 701-704 Gilbert House, with attached public house. Seven wide bays, each three windows wide, with narrower bays at end, supported on twelve giant double pairs of concrete columns which descend into the lake. There is no podium, but a bridge (Gilbert Bridge) over the lake. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and some with concrete window boxes (more removed here than elsewhere), painted undersides of roof. Rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a distinctive white finish. Each flat is a structural bay wide, reached via lifts and stairs at each end. Under the bridge at the southern end is a public house, Crowders. A plaques commemorates the foundation of the Lady Eleanor Holles School on this site in 1711 (installed 1984) and at the northern end is the foundation stone of the Arts Centre, unveiled by HRH Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1972, on the occasion of their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

Block VI: 1-114 Speed House. Seven storeys above podium with two storeys under. Seven broad bays between concrete columns supporting cross beams, the ends of the beams on other floors exposed to form large bays. Each of these are subdivided into three room spans, forming a pattern for the flats along the facades of two and one units width between glazed firescreens. A narrower eighth bay set at right angles. The podium is open, but with glazed entrances to the flats in each of the eight bays. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and many with concrete window boxes, painted undersides of roof. 24 rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a distinctive white finish. The one-two pattern of the flats is explained by their being 'L'-shaped and having a double aspect, each pair wrapped around a central fully glazed lightwell containing staircase and lift. Two-storey maisonettes set around similar staircases and lifts on the levels below the podium, with car ports and bedrooms on the lower level.

Block VII: 101-124,201-204,301-344,401-404,501-544,601-604, 701-724 Willoughby House. Flats and two-storey maisonettes. Seven storeys. Seventeen main bays, with eight wide bays and shorter end units set symmetrically either side of a central lift and stairwell, with escape doors on to the west-facing balcony, and with further lifts and stairs at either end. Each bay is made up of two units, each three varnished timber windows wide, with the right-hand window sliding opening on to balcony. Metal and glass balustrades, many with concrete planting boxes, painted undersides of balcony roof. Rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a white finish.

Block VIIB: 1-26 Brandon Mews, including water shute into the lake. Low mews block clad in glazed engineering brick set forward of Willoughby House by the east end of the lake. Two- storey mews houses, with internal bathrooms and staircases served by angled rooflights, covered over in the 1980s by round-arched brown perspex glazing. Houses accessed in groups of four or five via walkways off the public podium; a further walkway extends out into the lake, via staircase to a podium in the lake containing planting and a water shute which recycles and aerates the water in the lake.

Block VIII: 1-192 Andrewes House. Seven storeys above podium with two storeys under. Eleven broad bays between giant concrete columns supporting cross beams, the ends of the beams on other floors exposed to form a rhythm of large bays. Each of these are subdivided into three room spans, forming a pattern for the flats along the facades of two and one units width between glazed firescreens. The podium is open, but with glazed entrances to the flats in each of the eleven bays. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies (renewed 1999-2000), with metal and glass balustrades and many with concrete window boxes; painted undersides of roof. 22 rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a distinctive white finish. The one-two pattern of the flats is explained by their being 'L'-shaped and having a double aspect, each pair wrapped around a central glazed lightwell (glazing renewed with thicker sections and roof partly infilled in 1999- 2000) containing staircase and lift. Two-storey mews houses clad in glazed engineering brick set under podium, with south-facing patios incorporating ventilation holes to car park below.

Block IX: 1-10 The Postern. Four-storey houses over basement, all clad in glazed engineering brick, and with flat two-step roofs with higher service duct. The houses can be entered at third storey and from street level two storeys below, where there are garages also. Lowest openings with inverted round-arched form. Long, narrow plans to living and bedrooms on lower floors, kitchen and dining rooms at podium level, with bedroom and roof garden over, all linked via internal dog-leg stairs with open treads. The podium is finished with round-arcaded pattern to mullions supporting balustrade on the open east side.

Block XIII: 1-16 Wallside. Houses, including two units for doctor, dentist, or similar professional chambers. Glazed engineering brick cladding, with two-step flat roofs incorporating roof garden, and higher ventilation flue. Four storeys, set on, above and below the podium. Houses set in pairs save at either end, and entered at podium level, with square brick clad piers supporting floor above the podium. Bedrooms mainly on lower floors, reached via open tread dog-leg stair, but with some variations in the internal planning that makes it distinctive from the more regular adjoining Postern.

Block X: 101-114,201-214,301-314,401-414,501-514, 601-614, 701-704 Mountjoy House. Seven storeys. Five wide bays, each three windows wide, with narrower bays at end, supported on giant double pairs of concrete columns which descend to the level of the lake. There is a series of narrow walkways. The block is entered via lifts and stairs at either end, with flats set either east or west of these internal stairwell lobbies. Each flat is a structural bay wide, save for the penthouse flats. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and some with concrete window boxes, painted undersides of roof. Rooftop penthouses, with double height rooms lit by fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a white finish.

Block XI: 1-155 Thomas More House. Seven storeys above podium with two storeys under. Eleven and a half bays between concrete columns supporting cross beams, the ends of the beams on other floors exposed to form a rhythm of large bays. Each of these are subdivided into three room spans, forming a pattern for the flats along the facades of two and one units width between glazed firescreens. The podium is open, but with glazed entrances to the flats in nine bays. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and many with concrete window boxes. Painted undersides of roof. 24 rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a white finish. The one-two pattern of the flats is explained by their being 'L'-shaped and having a double aspect, each pair wrapped around a central fully glazed lightwell containing staircase and lift. At the eastern end Thomas More House abuts Mountjoy House, and has underneath it the sports hall range of the City of London School for Girls.

Block XII: 101-112, 201-212, 301-312,401-412, 501-512,601-612, 701-703 Seddon House. Seven storeys. Six wide bays, each three windows wide, with narrower bays at end, supported on giant double pairs of concrete columns which descend to the level of the lake below the podium. The block is entered via lifts and stairs at either end, with flats set either east or west of these internal stairwell lobbies save for the penthouse. Each flat is a structural bay wide, save for the penthouse flats which are two. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and most with concrete window boxes. Painted undersides of roof. Rooftop penthouses, with double height rooms lit by fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a white finish.

Block XIII: See The Postern above.

Block XIV: 1-133 John Trundle House: Twelve bays, with four entrances, stairs and lifts, and central corridor serving single-aspect flats. Seven storeys plus mezzanine entrance, set above podium level of North Barbican above Beech Street (Beech Gardens). The block is supported on paired columns which support the cross walls, with cross beams expressed externally and with white-painted soffits. Rooftop flats have higher, full-glazed round-arched form, eight to the block, set in pairs save at the ends, set behind balconies, forming a distinctive white roof-line. The lower floors have three windows per bay, each with central varnished wood door opening on to balcony, all with planting boxes behind metal and glass balustrades. The steps up the mezzanine entrances are tiled, and each has a glass door. Deep curved balustrade to podium on both sides, under which is White Lyon Court, giving on to a ramp which leads from Goswell Road to Beech Gardens. This elevation is entirely glazed, with steel windows and doors.

Block XV: 201-223, 301-323, 501-523 Bunyan House: seventeen-bay block, mainly of maisonettes arranged in scissor plan around central corridors. Six storeys set over open ground floor, supported on two rows each of ten paired giant columns, which extend down to frame brick paved ramp leading from Goswell Road to Beech Gardens. Entrance, lift and stair tower at north-east end. Underneath the podium is a fitness centre, entirely glazed with metal framed windows. Maisonettes have varnished timber windows set behind balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and planting boxes. Complex north elevation with paired balconies on levels 2, 3 and 5, with continuous glazing to levels 1 and 4. On the south elevation levels 1 and 4 are set behind the others. White-painted soffits. Roof level with high round-arched motif to principal rooms, entirely glazed between exposed concrete frames. These higher rooms are set in pairs with balconies between. Bunyan House is set behind a landscaped forecourt on the podium, with planting boxes formed of red paviours, and a circular fountain pool.

Block XVI: 101-108,201-208,301-308,401-408,501-508, 601-608,701-708 Bryer Court. Eight bay block of seven storeys set over open podium floor with large pool on podium, supported on paired giant columns. Rear access gallery reached from entrance lobby, stairs and lifts at southern end of block. The single aspect design is dictated by the presence of Murray House (1956) behind, which intrudes into the Barbican site. The lower floors with varnished wooden windows, those in the centre opening on to balconies with metal and glass balustrades and planting boxes; white-painted soffits; the top floor with higher, round-arched rooms entirely glazed between concrete frame and with white tops.

Block XVII: 201-268, 301-368, 501-568 Ben Jonson House. 52-bay block set over open podium floor and supported on two rows each of giant paired columns. Seven storeys. Complex north elevation with paired balconies on levels 2, 3 and 5, with continuous glazing to levels 1 and 4. On the south elevation levels 1 and 4 are set behind the others. White painted soffits. Roof level with high round-arched motif to principal rooms, entirely glazed between exposed concrete frames and forming roof-line. These higher rooms are set in pairs, save around lifts at either end and in centre, with balconies between. Podium with planting boxes and fountain in paved surrounds, the same red tiles facing round capsules set under the block and serving as exits, mainly for the conference centre underneath. To side of podium balustrade are large concrete raised planting boxes. Links to Breton House.

Block XVIII: 1-111 Breton House. Seven storeys and rooftop, entered from three entrances at mezzanine level above podium, with spinal corridor and rooms at podium level on north-east elevation. The block is supported on paired columns which support the cross walls, with cross beams expressed externally. White painted soffits. Roof-top flats have higher, full-glazed round-arched form, eight to the block, set in pairs save at the ends, set behind balconies, forming a white roof-line. The lower floors have three windows per bay, each with central varnished wood door opening on to balcony, with planting boxes behind metal and glass balustrades. The steps up the mezzanine entrances are tiled, and each has a glass door. YMCA (1965-71): 16-storey tower set off ramp at northern entrance to site from Goswell Road. The lower three floors fully glazed communal areas, with external escape stairs, the upper floors with smaller rooms set off staircases to north and south and with set-back bathrooms in the centre of the long ranges. Floor of staff flats and penthouse flat for warden. South side with projecting concrete fire escape, with glass screens flanking the exit from each floor. All windows of black painted steel, those to the rooms slightly inset with central pivots. Continuous set-back vertical glazing band to north stair. The height and position of the YMCA was designed to unite Barbican with Chamberlin, Powell and Bon's earlier Golden Lane Estate, which features a tower of the same height.

The Podium has upswept concrete balustrades and brick/tile paviours. There are some large concrete planters at the northern and southern edges. To the south west of the site, Seddon Highwalk and John Wesley Highwalk are covered ways under white round-arched roofs. John Wesley Highwalk terminates in a glazed brick service tower containing stairs to Aldersgate Street and up to roof, with rounded walls and pyramidal roof.

Lake with brick paved surrounds, follows the remodelled line of the Underground railway between Barbican and Moorgate stations, and serves the filtration system for the Barbican Arts Centre. Geometrically placed fountains. Raised circular brick beds with fountains and planting front the broad terrace serving the Arts Centre, reached via steps down from the podium and from within the Arts Centre itself. Eight similar round brick gardens set at the level of the lake, and slightly sunken within it, accessed via spur in front of Andrewes House. The lake steps down a level, with fountain and waterfall, under Gilbert House.

City of London School for Girls. 1963-9, with infilling of 1990-1 by Dannatt, Johnson and Partners. Red semi-engineering brick on reinforced concrete frame, with exposed concrete in piers and beams. Main block of four storeys and semi-basement, with two-storey wing to side, which incorporates gymnasium and swimming pool. Flat roof on top serves as entrance and playground, and is paved in red brick paviours. A strong grid of timber and aluminium windows recessed behind projecting brick piers with concrete tops. Dannatt's infill, in grey brick, is treated as a simple pavilion. Timber and glass entrance doors give on to entrance hall overlooking main assembly hall, whose main floor is at basement level. Stairs rise through the centre of the school, with classrooms on either side and second-floor dining hall. Hard finishes of tiled floors and timber screens (overlooking hall and light wells) a particular feature of the interior, unusually finely detailed. Art and crafts rooms concentrated on the third floor. Lower wing retains brick arcade within Dannatt's extension, and built-in seating and concrete table in open section retained at southern end. Beyond this is the gymnasium, with swimming pool below; this extends to top-lit double-height section at deep end beyond.

The school is of special interest for the quality of its materials, the strongly architectural quality of its double-height spaces, staircase hall and infilled arcade, and for the way its complex plan fits logically into an awkward site. It has been extended by Dannatt. It was the first part of the Barbican complex to be completed.

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama ( designed 1959, revised 1968, built 1971-7; partners in charge Peter Chamberlin and Christoph Bon, John Honer executive architect) is like the School for Girls clad in brick on a concrete frame, with bush hammering to exposed frame, which is expressed as a series of paired columns forming a ground-floor loggia overlooking the lake to the south. Exposed concrete lift tower at eastern corner of School. The Music School consists of practice studios on three levels spaced around two sides of the Music Hall, which is about 75ft by 45ft, with recording studios underneath. The practice studios are seen externally as a line of octagonal boxes, stacked two and three storeys high, with lines of six facing the lake and of four to the east. Windows in thick timber surrounds, which with the spandrel panels below them are painted red. In the larger windows abstract stained glass frieze by Celia Frank. Roof-top garden above the music hall. An expansion joint separates the Music School at the front from the Drama School facing north, which has a theatre and movement studio, with library in between extending into barrel-vaulted roofs and bar below. The conservatory which surrounds the Arts Centre Theatre is extended eastwards to link with the small conservatory over the GSMD flytower. Hard red tiled floors to the small internal spaces, with wood block floors to larger rooms and halls, and carpet to music practice studios.

The Arts Centre was largely designed in its present form in 1968, and was built 1971-82. Peter Chamberlin and Christoph Bon were architects in charge, with John Honer and Gordon Ruwald as project architects. Reinforced concrete, with innovative diaphragm walling, largely set below podium level. The principal spaces comprise a theatre designed for the Royal Shakespeare Company; a studio theatre -The Pit -added as the plans were evolved; a concert hall designed in conjunction with the London Symphony Orchestra; a public lending library; an art gallery for temporary exhibitions; three cinemas; a conservatory; offices; restaurants; shops and foyers. Principal entrance from Whitecross Street under canopy added to the designs of Diane Radford and Lindsey Bell in 1993-5, with glazed doors and security entrance to side; driveway over timber setts to left, with stage door for theatre beyond that. Above is the podium, and glazed conservatory wrapped around the theatre flytower (and that of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) with aluminium glazing and doors. Beyond, on the higher podium of North Barbican, entrance to Barbican Exhibition Halls via glazed single-storey building, highly glazed under deep frieze. The halls are set below the podium. To the lake, bank of cafes and restaurants to right, clad in vertical white tiles. Stepped profile, with first-floor balcony over projecting ground-floor 'waterside' cafe, and landscaped roof terrace to upper level. Four storeys (three with restaurants), four main bays wide. To left, rounded staircase tower, and main arts centre of six and seven bays stepped behind Defoe House. Four bays facing lake expressed in square areas of vertical white towers over roof-garden, with fascia and metal glazed foyer areas below.

Foyers on three main levels including balcony, with theatre foyers on mezzanine level, now with wheelchair access bridge across. Woodblock floor at stalls (service road) level. Regularly spaced stairs either side of central lifts, and forming open wells through the three levels. Suspended iridescent perspex sculpture by Michel Santry, and busts of Shakespeare by Roubiliac (1760) and of Vaughan Williams by Jacob Epstein. Alterations and additional sculpture by Pentagram 1993-5.

To west of foyer, separated from it by internal glazed partitions, the library is set on two main levels, including areas for children's library and music library. There are internal staircases (one of which is now blocked) and natural timber fittings. Broad external staircase from North Barbican has entrance to side. Art Gallery on two floors over library and foyer. The main, upper level has small galleries opening off a central core around central staircase, which overlooks the foyers below. Separate lower gallery curved round the Barbican Hall, marks the form of Frobisher Crescent above. There is a sculpture Court over the Barbican Hall, with doors (not used) into art gallery, and which is backed by Frobisher Crescent. Frobisher Crescent houses offices for the Barbican Arts Centre's administration.

Theatre: first designed 1959 as an adjunct to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with theatre consultant Richard Southern. The scheme was expanded in 1964 with the involvement of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and the final designs date from April 1968. Built 1970-82, Peter Chamberlin architect in charge succeeded by Christoph Bon. Fan-shaped continental seating, with steeply raked stalls and balconies, and steep side slips. Seating devised by Robin Day. The theatre is lined in Peruvian walnut, lightly stained, which contrasts with the bush- hammered balcony fronts. Louvred ceiling unites the auditorium and fixed forestage areas. The front rows of seats can be lowered to make an orchestra pit if required, although there is more room for musicians above the wings to either side. Stage with 100ft fly tower to grid, with storage area for flats, and stairs to traps below.

The theatre is entered from stairs on two side, which have doors opening on to the separate rows, and controlled by magnets. The dog-leg stairs on either side form high spaces, and give on to foyers set between the theatre and the main Barbican space.

Concert hall, designed in consultation with Hugh Creighton, acoustic consultant. Spans are bridged by post-tensioned reinforced concrete double cruciform beams, with timber canopy, reflective decoration in aspen pine to side walls and (a remodelling of 1994) balcony fronts. Stepped timber section over stage and along rear stage wall profiled to reflect the sound forward into the auditorium, and conceals film screens, .house curtains, lighting an loudspeakers, as well as a maintenance gantry. The rear of the stage can be raised. and the front brought forward by removing seats and raising a 5' section of the auditorium. Stalls with two balconies, designed with a fan-shaped plan so as to minimise the distance between the stage and the rear seats. Seating by Robin Day incorporated into the stepping of the levels, with timber floors (the steps form the back of each row).

Cinema and studio theatre (the Pit) set in basement, simply finished, The Pit designed for maximum flexibility, with tiered seats around a central space that can be adapted for end - stage, three-sided or in-the-round productions. Two further cinemas at conservatory level.

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: TQ 32298 81752

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jul-2014 at 07:17:26.