AHMM’s project to create a new and improved shop is the practice’s most recent intervention at the Barbican, following its work at the Art Gallery (2003), redevelopment and reconfiguring of foyers and public spaces at the Arts Centre (2006), the design of new cinemas on Beech Street (2013), and the relocation of the listed Dorothy Annan Mural from Farringdon Street to the Speed House highwalk.
Barbican Art Gallery (2003)
Involving a series of invisible mending operations, and working with the muscular fabric rather than against it, the Barbican Art Gallery project transforms the centre’s original double-level open-plan exhibition into a place for displaying art to modern museum standards. While restoring key elements of the original architecture, the project resolves the detrimental aspects of the gallery’s original relationship to its surroundings, creating an expanded, independent space.
Barbican Arts Centre
The redevelopment of the Barbican Arts Centre recognises the building’s best qualities while dealing with its inherent deficiencies. Two entrances, a bridge, interval bars and information and ticket points are inserted into the robust original spaces to clarify access, circulation and navigation. The language of the interventions is that of crisply-defined, over-scaled ‘portals’. Colour coded new signage helps users navigate their way around the many different venues of Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference centre. - Winner, RIBA Award 2007 and Design Week Wayfinding and Graphic Award 2007.
Barbican Cinemas (2013)
In response to the bold scale of the brutalist complex and drawing upon the same clear language of AHMM’s earlier Barbican reconfiguration projects, the elevations of the former Exhibition Hall – previously opaque and impermeable – are transformed into fully-glazed, active frontages. Accommodating two new cinema screens, a coffee shop and a restaurant, the addition asserts its presence on this prominent street corner at the junction of Beech Street and Whitecross Street. AHMM designed the exteriors only.
Dorothy Annan Mural at the Barbican (2014)
Originally commissioned in 1960 by the Ministry of Works, the Grade II listed Dorothy Annan mural comprises nine large tiled panels arranged as a linear series. Their relocation from the former Central Telegraph Office on Farringdon Street to the highwalk between Speed House and the Barbican Centre required careful orchestration; the accessibility of place, the quality of lighting, the character of frame and the process of installation are balanced to safeguard the mural’s unique charms and respect the Barbican’s listed fabric.
Barbican Shop (2016)
The relocated shop has been carefully designed to minimise its visual impact within the foyers, while improving accessibility and visibility for all Barbican visitors. A new floor is separated from the surrounding structure by triple height voids, with the shop entrance flanked by a pair of vitrines with finely detailed frames. The appearance of the shop picks up on the language of the earlier foyers projects with dark metal cladding to the structural elements complementing the original heavily textured concrete, while the vitrines and shop counters are clad in a lighter metallic finish, referring back to the original ironmongery and stair handrails throughout the Centre.