The Barbican reveals new shop space

Architectural practice AHMM has designed a new space for the Barbican Centre to display up-and-coming design talent.


This article has been edited to reflect the opening of the Barbican’s new shop on 9 December 2016.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has designed the interiors for a new shop in the Barbican, which has now opened.

The 330m2 retail space is situated at the main entrance to the Barbican’s foyers, off Silk Street in central London.

Pop-up space

It features a range of exclusive commissions, as well as a pop-up space within the store which will showcase “emerging makers” on a rolling two-month basis, according to the architect.

AHMM, who has worked with the Barbican on various projects over the past 15 years including the Art Gallery, public spaces and cinemas, was commissioned to work on the design in May 2015.

The brief was to provide a more accessible shop in a more visible location which created an opportunity for showcasing new design talent, according to AHMM director, Peter Morris.

“Flexibility and neutrality”

“The key factor for the shop fit-out is flexibility and neutrality,” says Morris. “There is almost no wall space in the unit and so modular units of varying sizes and heights…can be moved to different positions and formations according to the programming of the Barbican or the needs of the product.”

In terms of interiors, the shop has also been designed to minimise its visual impact within the foyers.

The use of dark metal cladding on the structural elements complements the original textured concrete in the centre, while the lighter metallic finish on the vitrines and shop counters mirrors the original ironmongery and stair handrails found throughout.

“In the context of the arts centre, [we wanted] to think of this more as a museum or gallery than a shop,” says Morris, “to reflect the character of the original building while drawing on the work which came out of our earlier masterplan for the public spaces.”


All images by Nicholas Triantafyllou

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