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AHMM returns to Barbican to design new shop

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Stirling Prize-winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has won the go-ahead to replace a Barbican ticket desk with a new shop

The project is the latest in a series of commissions by AHMM within the Grade II-listed, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon-designed London landmark, which started a decade ago with a major overhaul of the arts centre’s public spaces.

In 2013, the practice also completed the first new venue since the Barbican Arts Centre opened in 1982 - the £3.4 million Barbican Cinemas scheme.

The new shop will be built at the main entrance to the Barbican’s foyers off Silk Street and will provide ’an opportunity to showcase new and emerging design talent in its specially commissioned range of products’.

Due to open in October this year, the scheme secured listed building consent from the City of London Corporation earlier this month.

Project director at AHMM, Peter Morris said: ’The shop has been carefully designed to minimise its visual impact within the foyers. A new floor is separated from the surrounding structure by triple-height voids, with the shop entrance being flanked by a pair of vitrines with finely detailed frames.

’The appearance of the shop picks up on the language of the earlier foyer projects with the use of a dark metal cladding to the structural elements complementing the original heavily textured concrete, while the vitrines and shop counters are clad in a lighter metallic finish, referring back to the original ironmongery and stair handrails seen throughout the centre.’

Gif of ahmm new barbican shop july 2016

Morris added: ’The relocation of the shop has allowed a number of operational improvements to be introduced. A new lift and staircase will provide ready access to the mezzanine level for all of the Barbican’s visitors, with the lower level of the new shop bringing increased activity to this end of the mezzanine.’

According to the Barbican Centre, the shop will allow ’far greater opportunities to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming design talent’ and will feature a new ‘pop-up’ space to showcase emerging makers on a revolving two-month basis.

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