The Barbican Competition (4)

I missed Olly Wainwright’s excellent article about the Barbican yesterday, which states the case surrounding its redevelopment very clearly.   People had problems navigating their way round the Barbican when it first opened, which gave it a bad reputation which has in some way become embedded in attitudes to it. But this is now forty years ago.

As a fairly regular user, I love both the concert hall and the theatre, although I find the exhibition spaces less easy to negotiate. I particularly like the generosity of its public spaces, the sense precisely that the flyers are big and empty for much of the day, although thronged in the evening. So, I look at what may be being planned for the current competition entries with a strong degree of caution, only because the shortlist consists mostly of big-hit, international practices who will want to transform the Barbican instead of preserving its integrity.


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