BIG, Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Asif Khan Studio are among the shortlisted practices for the Barbican Center renovation

BIG, Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Asif Khan Studio are among the shortlisted practices for the Barbican Center renovation

© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center

The Barbican Center is about to undergo a major refurbishment and the City of London Corporation has announced the five shortlisted teams to refurbish the brutalist icon, including practices such as BIG, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Adjaye Associates and Asif Khan Studio. The cultural venue at the heart of the eponymous post-war housing estate in central London was the subject of an international competition with the aim of preserving its heritage while adapting the aging structure to contemporary requirements and artistic demands.

© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center© Peter Dazeley Courtesy of the Barbican Center+ 5

© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center
© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center

Inaugurated in 1982, the Barbican Center was designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and is a world-renowned venue for arts, music, theatre, dance and film. The Grade I listed building now requires significant improvements to continue to serve the needs of “21st Century artists, audiences and communities” and to adapt to evolving art practice. Launched in September last year, the competition aims to improve the building’s environmental performance, aim for net-zero operations by 2027, improve accessibility and bring unused spaces to life.

© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center
© Max Colson Courtesy of the Barbican Center

The nominated teams are as follows:

  • Adjaye Associates, Benedetti Architects and PUP Architects alongside Charcoalblue, David Bonnett, DP9, Nigel Dunnett, OneDotZero, Peter Stewart, The Place Bureau, Transsolar, WSP.
  • Allies and Morrison and Asif Khan Studio alongside Alan Baxter Ltd, Buro Happold, Charcoalblue, Hood Design Studio, Isaac Julien Studio, les éclaireurs.
  • BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Avanti Architects and POoR Collective alongside Applied, Atelier Ten, Barker Langham, Buro Happold, Charcoalblue, People-Friendly Design, Speirs + Major.
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro, McCloy + Muchemwa and Purcell alongside Buro Happold, Charcoalblue, David Bonnett, GROSS. MAX., L’Observatoire, Nagata Acoustics, Nigel Dunnett, North Design, Patrick Burnham OBE, The Young Foundation.
  • FCBStudios (Feilden Clegg Bradley), Bureau de Change, Schulze+Grassov and Thinc alongside AKT II, ​​​​James Hitchmough, JWE, Max Fordham, Momentum, Nigel Dunnett, Ramboll.

The bidding teams will continue to develop their responses and a winning proposal will be announced in April this year. The successful design team needs to establish a set of options for the project that accommodate different budget levels and can be delivered in phases.

© Peter Dazeley Courtesy of the Barbican Center
© Peter Dazeley Courtesy of the Barbican Center

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