The conservatory at the Barbican is a little-known space that is currently open to the public only at very limited times. Livingston Eyre was part of the design team appointed to prepare an outline masterplan for future redevelopment.
The Client was keen to maximise the use of this resource as a venue by overcoming a number of problems. These included: subtropical planting incompatible with conditions for human comfort, acoustic issues between internal areas and nearby flats, and lack of visibility for larger events.
Together with the Architects, Livingston Eyre devised a system consisting of a framework of substantial planting. Alongside mobile planters that can be pushed to one side to give floor space and visibility for large events, this maintains the lushness that makes the space special.
The existing planting was assessed, and proposals made to replace specimens that required high temperatures and humidity with more suitable plants. The simultaneous upgrading of the conservatory’s shading and insulation, using a highly controllable ETFE system, will help the plants to thrive, and ensure huge savings in energy.
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–with: David Morley Architects for: the Barbican Centre status: masterplan stage completed 2008