Design race started for £ 150 million Barbican Center renovation


The Barbican Renewal project will be valued at between £ 50 million and £ 150 million.

The Barbican opened in 1982 as a global icon of Brutalist architecture and is now being remodeled to “meet the needs of the artists, audiences and communities of the 21st century”.

Applications are invited from multidisciplinary teams who have the skills, experience and ambition to deliver a complex and detailed project while respecting the status of the Grade II list.

City Corporation – the founder and main financier of the Barbican – seeks input from collaborating practices: architects, engineers, sustainability and heritage consultants, and others who can embed equality, diversity, and inclusion into their creative vision.

The original mandate allows the Barbican Center to be viewed in its entirety – from upgrading venues and converting unused areas into new flexible spaces, to improving reception, navigation and orientation. Another focus is embedding digital technology throughout the building to enable the Barbican to connect with a global audience.

The renovation project will also address the urgent need to significantly improve the building’s environmental performance. As part of its climate protection strategy, City Corporation is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions status for its own operations by 2027 and for its investments and supply chain by 2040.

Interested bidders are asked to suggest a range of design options that can be implemented within a construction cost budget of £ 50 to 150 million.

City of London Corporation’s Barbican Center Board Chairman Tom Sleigh said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the world’s best architects and designers to bring together resourceful and ambitious teams to revamp this iconic arts center and adapt it to the opportunities and creative minds urgent challenges of today’s world and ensuring that the Barbican plays a leading role in recovering the city, capital and nation from the pandemic. “

Every year over a million people attend Barbican events performed by hundreds of artists from around the world.

Interested teams should submit a first selection questionnaire by October 21, 2021. Joint offers from design consortia, especially those that incorporate new practices and expand representation within the project team, are actively promoted.

In addition, the previous experience sections in the selection criteria are open to bidders who can demonstrate transferable skills that demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements of the assignment.

The full abstract and further details can be downloaded here.



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