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Conran to turn Barbican youth hostel into luxury flats

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Conran and Partners has revealed plans to turn a tower at the Barbican, which was used as a youth hostel, into luxury apartments

The practice has been appointed by Redrow to turn the Barbican estate’s grade II-listed Blake Tower into 72 high-end flats.

The 17-storey building will be converted to contain a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom flats, studio apartments and two penthouses.

The tower was purpose–designed as a YMCA youth hostel in 1968 by the Barbican’s architect Chamberlin, Powell and Bon.

Its lower floors housed a gym, dance studio, canteen, and kitchen, while 218 bedrooms were located between floors three and sixteen.

The building has been empty since the YMCA’s lease expired in September 2012.

‘Located on the fringe of the famous Barbican estate, our design sensitively draws on the rich historic and cultural spirit of the area to create a timeless addition to the neighbouring residential buildings’, said project director Simon Kincaid.

He added: ‘A former youth hostel, the key design challenge was in converting the interior spaces into generous residential units, whilst retaining and expressing the building’s historic memory both internally and externally.’

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