top of page

Barbican Cinema 1

Client:Barbican Centre



Awards:AJ Retrofit Award 2022 - Nomination

Our second major project for the City of London’s Barbican Centre followed the same principles as the Art Gallery refurbishment: to prioritise retention, repair and reuse as the basis of a contemporary renewal within the Grade-II listed cultural complex. Alongside the intricate design involved in reactivating the shared Pit Theatre and Cinema 1 as a Barbican Centre destination, our approach ensured that the spaces and routes to them were upgraded to be entirely accessible by modern standards.

Every design decision sought to respect and reinforce the original architects’ vision of creating an exciting interplay of light, scale and perspective, tied together with a select material palette. The open layout and flexible arrangement of furniture were inspired by original materials, graphics and motifs present across the site.

Bespoke and original refurbished furniture concepts were designed in-house and sensitively sat within the wider composition and Centre strategy. We designed light fittings that emphasised the foyer’s unique volume, and offered distinctive markers that combined with the new signage for a layered, natural wayfinding approach.

Durability and sustainability were key factors in new material selection. Fabrics that line the cinema and foyers utilised natural and recycled yarns that also met the demanding hygiene and maintenance standards required for the public setting. Valchromat, a toxin-free, natural, wood-fibre panel dyed with organic pigments, was used for the refined routed table bases. Above this, deep brass tops shall age gracefully, developing unique patinas further contributing to the rich history of this iconic setting.

A relevant new interior that references the quality and original concepts of the Barbican Centre helps this previously underutilised area into an invigorating and flexible space eagerly used by all.

bottom of page