In the mid 1950s the City Corporation decided to commission architects to submit proposals for a development of the south Barbican site. The architects they chose were Chamberlin, Powell & Bon. The firm had already proved themselves to the City Corporation by designing the Golden Lane Estate, a residential complex for 900 residents on land next to (what was later to be) the Barbican estate.
The Barbican dominated their careers for nearly three decades.
In 1954 they were asked to produce their first design for the Barbican. They produced reports to the City Corporation in 1955, 1956 and 1959. Work finally began on the residential complex in 1963 and carried on into the mid-1970s. Work on the Barbican Arts Centre stretched from 1971 to 1982. At one point there were 60 architects all working on the Barbican Arts Centre (and presumably each one of them thought someone else was designing the route to the library). Sadly Chamberlin died before he could see it completed.