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Quinn Architects redesigns ‘windy’ Barbican tower conservatory


Work is set to start on Quinn Architects’ redesign of a ‘windy’ conservatory at the top of the Barbican’s Cromwell tower

The City of London gave permission last November for the changes to the penthouse apartment, which spans the 39th and 40th floors of the Grade II-listed Brutalist tower designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and built in 1973. 

London-based Quinn Architects said that, despite the terrace’s ‘expansive views’ and abundant natural light, it was barely used because of its exposed position and rotten timber framing.

‘It is a cold and uncomfortably windy place to be and only receives direct sunlight during mid-summer,’ the practice said. 

It added that the original design of the terrace’s drainage was ‘flawed’, causing water ingress that threatens to damage the historic fabric of the 45-year-old building.

City of London planners decided the extension would not alter the distinctive silhouette of Cromwell Tower other than removing ‘unsightly’ key clamp railings which would be a positive enhancement.

‘As such the proposed extension and alterations would not have a detrimental impact on the character and special architectural or historic interest of the Barbican Estate,’ the planning report said.

Quinn Architects said the extension was an ‘important milestone in the history of the iconic site’ as it is the first time permission has been granted for this type of scheme. 

But planners pointed out the scheme was a ‘unique situation’ because of its location and the need to protect the structure from water damage, and would not be possible in other areas of the Barbican Estate.


Readers' comments (2)

  • As ever, but especially in this case given the address and flat number are impossible to discern, a link to the CoL application would help.

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  • And how about an 'as existing' drawing - without this it's impossible to make sense of the changes.

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