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London Build

16 Sep 2021

Barbican Centre Releases Design Brief In Search For Design Team

The City of London Corporation has released its brief for the Barbican Centre Renewal, as it begins its search for a design team to deliver plans.'

Designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, the Barbican Centre was built almost forty years ago. Not just a cultural hub, it is one of the capital's most famous examples of Brutalist architecture, with Queen Elizabeth even going so far as to call it 'one of the modern wonders of the world' when she opened the centre in 1982. Forty years later they are looking to bring the site into the 21st century, where it can 'meet the needs of 21st-century artists, audiences and communities.'

Applications are now open, with the Barbican seeking multi-disciplinary design teams who can respect the building's Grade-II listing status, whilst also bringing innovative and ambitious ideas to the table.'

The Brief
In the brief, they state: 'We're 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.'

'We're 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.'

The Barbican is looking to make serious improvements to the building's environmental performance, with the renewal project helping the building reach its target of reducing carbon emissions and reaching net-zero by 2027. They also want to create a space that is safe, accessible and welcoming for everybody.'

The brief continues: 'To help do this, we need a team that represents a wide range of lived experience, and that can work with us 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.'

They state that they are looking for a team that is able to help the site reach its full potential through 'radical' and 'original' solutions, adapting not just the building but its car parks, Exhibitions Halls and public and outdoor spaces, to 'reimagine the possibilities of an arts and learning centre for a new generation'.'

Another key focus is the introduction of digital technology across the site, enabling the Barbican to reach a wider, global audience.'

There are a number of key dates to take note of:'

  • 21st October 2021 - Deadline for Stage 1 Standard Selection Questionnaire submission

  • November 2021 - Invitations to tender issued

  • End-of-November - Bidders information event

  • December 2021 - Deadline for Tender Submissions

  • January 2022 - Interviews

  • February 2022 - Chosen Design team appointed


To find out more about the project and to download a copy of the brief, click here.

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