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Barbican Art Gallery

Client:Barbican Centre



Awards:NLA Retrofit Award - Conservation and Retrofit category - Nomination

The full 24,000 sqft gallery refurbishment and system upgrade saw the 8-week ‘dark period’ between scheduled shows fully utilised. Our directly appointed multi-disciplinary team delivered within this Grade II listed building, ahead of the widely acclaimed David Chipperfield’s Lee Krasner retrospective opening.

The project holistically reviewed the original gallery fabric and mechanical services. Innovatively reviving key design aspects created within the retained shell. A 21st century world leading gallery space formed, now able to host acclaimed international exhibitions, showing the world’s highest value and valued artworks.

Addressing accessibility was critical. Newly located, increased lift capacity and navigation routes that align with the main staircase distribution to the upper Level 4 gallery ensure additional mobility and visibility requirements are inclusive. Display walls, lighting and flooring were also creatively adjusted throughout the space, enhancing the visual experience and wayfinding for all.

Centrally located in the wider listed arts centre and residential Barbican Estate, a sensitive approach to both re-use and enhancement of the existing fabric was proposed to City of London Planners and Conservation Officers. As conservation architects, previously delivering the new Beech Street Cinemas at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, we understood the key critical approach needed to work within the statutory approval processes.

Intentional use was made of existing fabric for a full system upgrade from pneumatic controls to an energy efficient electrical control system along with full AHU equipment.

Due to the uniquely challenging development window, we provided an extremely agile and flexible service. Clear identification of tasks and outputs generated key principles and marker stage commissioning, compressing 3 months of critical work into the short programme.

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