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Barbican Cinemas 2&3

Client:Barbican Centre



Awards:AJ Retrofit Award 2022 - Nomination

The refurbishment of The Barbican Centre’s Cinema 2 & 3 continued the concept established by our completed Cinema 1 remodel: reusing and repurposing what existed, before carefully inserting new, sustainably sourced elements.

Located on Beech Street, a short walk from the main Barbican complex, a project priority was creating a consistent, legible, visual language that unified the separated sites. Two 152-seat auditoriums share a foyer, cafe and welcome area with a holistic approach to the visitor experience. Creating a visual language which reconnects this separated site with the rest of the Centre ensuring the space is welcoming to all was a key element of the project. Lighting, graphic signage and furniture design took cues from both the original Barbican Centre design, and concepts that we previously created as part of two separate refurbishments to the Art Gallery and Cinema 1 & Pit Theatre.

In 2012, Practice Director Paul Ruff developed the facades of the Beech Street building whilst working at the award-winning Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The design process began by looking backwards, inspiring a modern interpretation of the original exhibition hall facade. In 2021, this approach was repeated in the re-imagining of the interiors and entrance sequence to playfully reference the Barbican’s existing architecture. The iconic coffered ceiling of the main building is reinterpreted as a bright and uplifting entrance lantern at Beech Street.

Cinemas 2 & 3 employed enhanced technology, including digital wayfinding and refinements to paperless ticketing alongside diligent architectural changes that improved accessibility, sales and usability. Bespoke new fixtures soften the feel of the building’s retained concrete structure. The outcome of our comprehensive refurbishment is a contemporary interior that is now clearly identifiable as part of the Barbican.

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