'Barbicanisms' was highly commended in the Culture Mile Summer Speculations competition.
The Barbican is the identity-establishing protagonist of the Culture Mile – the estate imposes itself inescapably on its surroundings. Iconic snippets of the interior worlds – following the idea of bringing the ‘inside out’ – serve as mobile, multifunctional incubators: what about a living room concert along Beech Street, playing from a mobile penthouse loggia raft? What about turning a Lauderdale Tower balcony into a theatre stage, or taking an outdoor cooking class in a displaced Barbican kitchen in Speed Garden? The Barbicanisms orchestrate the existing, but underused public spaces of Culture Mile in novel ways, reintroducing the domestic scale into the urban realm.
A construction combining aluminium profiles with wooden sheet material allows the rafts to be light enough to be safely moved by two people on their oversized rubber wheels. To make the Barbicanisms stand out in front of their environment, they are monochromatically painted, based on a colour palette inspired by the original Barbican interiors. The modules can be rearranged in different ways: separated, they can be used as ‘ambassadors’ for the culture mile, addressing small audiences; aligned, they can form a backdrop for a big event, or enclose a court-like space. Parked, they become haptic exhibits, educating about the internal architectural features of one of the most prominent housing estates of all time.