Barbican: Penthouse Over the City
This leviathan project, with its futuristic vision and Byzantine intricacy included, in its final incarnation, the highest apartments in Europe, an underground railway and an arts centre composed of a theatre, concert hall, art galleries, cinemas and a library.
Its grand-scale conception included elements drawn from the rustication of Florentine palaces, the water and walkways of Venice, the elegant squares of Georgian London and the high-rise designs of the U.S.
Today, the cultural and architectural communities are re-assessing the site's significance in light of the achievement it represents. To its residents, Barbican living is an addiction. Its story spans decades or changing ideologies and tastes, and this book tells its full story for the first time.
SECTION 1: RECONSTRUCTION.
Reconstruction Plans Challenged.
SECTION 2: BARBICAN PLANNED.
First Plans for the Barbican – Catalyst and Reaction.
CP&B Plan for the Barbican Site.
CP&B 1956 Plan.
After 1956 and Before 1959.
SECTION 3: BARBICAN REGAINED.
The 1959 Plan and Later Changes.
The 1959 Arts Centre.
Modernism, Historicism and the Architects' Practice.
The Arts Centre.
“…first complete story of the Barbican Estate…provides in-depth design info as well as a wider historical overview…” (FX Magazine, August 2004)
“…a fascinating study…” (Architects Journal, September 04)
“…packed with pictures, plans, models and discreet type telling the complicated tale of a landmark project’s post-war inception and influences” (Civic Focus, No. 47 Summer 2004)