Keywords Change this
1965 – 1976
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EC2Y 8DS London
Architect Change this
Article last edited by Bostjan on
February 10th, 2017
Barbican Estate Change this
Description Change this
The estate was built between 1965 and 1976, on a 35-acre (140,000 m2) site that was bombed in World War II.The complex was designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, whose first work was the earlier, ground-breaking Golden Lane Estate immediately North of Barbican. The estate of 40 acres (160,000 m2) was officially opened in 1969 and is now home to around 4,000 people living in 2,014 flats. The flats reflect the widespread use in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s of concrete as the visible face of the building.
The Minister for the Arts, Tessa Blackstone, announced in September 2001 that the Barbican complex was to be Grade II listed. It has been designated a site of special architectural interest for its scale, its cohesion and the ambition of the project. The complex is architecturally important as it is one of London's principal examples of concrete Brutalist architecture and considered a landmark.
The residential estate consists of 13 terrace blocks, grouped around the lake and green squares within the complex. The main buildings rise for up to seven floors above a podium level, which links all the facilities in the Barbican, providing a pedestrian route above street level. Some maisonettes are built into the podium structure. There is no vehicular access within the estate, but there are some car parks at the periphery of the estate. Public car parks are located within the Barbican centre.
The estate also contains three of London's tallest residential towers, at 42 storeys and 123 metres (404 ft) high. The top two or three floors of each block comprise three penthouse flats. The towers are (east to west): The Cromwell Tower, completed in 1973 was named after Oliver Cromwell. The Shakespeare Tower, completed in 1976 was named after William Shakespeare and the Lauderdale Tower, completed in 1974 was named after the Earls of Lauderdale.
The Barbican Estate also contains the Barbican Centre (an arts, drama and business venue), the Barbican public library, the City of London School for Girls, the Museum of London, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A YMCA building was constructed between 1965 and 1971 to link the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate, it is also listed.