The Hull of a Large Ship

Barbican Display

The Hull of a Large Ship

Five contemporary architects respond to the original Barbican plans.

In 1968 the architects Chamberlin Powell & Bon submitted a report to the City of London Corporation, containing comprehensive drawings for the proposed Barbican Arts Centre. In order to fit the final structure into the partly built and restricted site, the architects and engineers resorted to an inventive solution. They excavated below ground level and placed the majority of the Centre below the ‘podium.’ The architects compared the Arts Centre to 'the hull of a large ship in which much is contained below the water.’

The Hull of a Large Ship exhibits CP&B’s unpublished drawings from 1968, selected by five contemporary architects: 6a, Casper Mueller Kneer, Carmody Groarke, OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen and Witherford Watson Mann. The architects were invited to respond to these drawings with a contribution in the form of a model or drawing. They were encouraged to think of the Barbican as a site that can accommodate or inspire the ever changing needs and lives of its users.

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Level G