The Barbican Competition (3)

The review by Owen Hatherley of the new book about the Barbican reminds me that I feel that there has been surprisingly little publicity, let alone controversy, about the current competition to redevelop the Barbican.

What exactly is being planned ? It looks to me as if the City authorities are looking for an ‘imaginative’ scheme by a superstar international architect which is almost certain to change its current lowkey and very generous allocation of public space because they want – but don’t need – to get rid of the current requirement for public subsidy.

It is surely better to raise these concerns in advance of the public competition, due to be judged in April following the arrival of the new Chief Executive, rather than leaving it till when some monster new development is announced to great fanfare after the competition has been judged and it may be too late to preserve and protect the Barbican’s currently still intact original character.


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