Barbican London

Chamberlin, Powell & Bon


  • Dick van Gameren TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment



The large-scale destruction wreaked by the Second World War in London’s financial heart, the City of London, was responsible for intensifying the population decrease that had started many years before. Where 120,000 people had lived in 1851, this number was barely 5,000 a century later. The Corporation of London, the City’s governing body, resolved to reverse this trend, and designated one of the largest bomb craters in the City – the Barbican site – as a residential area, despite the lower revenue this would generate. Chamberlin Powell & Bon, architects of the Golden Lane project immediately to the north of the Barbican, the successful product of a 1951 competition, were invited to submit a plan. Their initial proposal for a grid-based development, enclosing alternating public and private courtyards, was followed in 1959 by a second submission whose major features were adopted and implemented without change, despite the lengthy construction time required that would extend well into the 1970s.


Author Biography

Dick van Gameren, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Dick van Gameren is dean and full professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, and partner at Mecanoo architecten in Delft, the Netherlands. Combining his work as an architect with a professorship, Van Gameren maintains a critical approach to design by lecturing, researching and publishing. In 2007, Van Gameren won the prestigious Aga Kahn Award for the design of the Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia. In 2008, Van Gameren founded the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and is since then editor in chief. At TU Delft. He leads the Global Housing Study Centre and is also board member of the Archiprix foundation, of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre in Rotterdam and of the Amsterdam based AMS Institute. He is also a member of the TU Delft Global Initiative Steering Committee.






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