December 1972. Bunyan Court was part of Phase IV of the City’s building programme for the Barbican site. The contractor was Myton Limited, a subsidiary of Taylor Woodrow.
Bunyan Court is a terrace block which runs east to west on the north podium of the estate. It forms the middle of a ‘U’ with Bryer Court and John Trundle Court, which are north to south terrace blocks. Bunyan Court and John Trundle Court are connected, but Bryer Court stands slightly apart on its own. This group of buildings enclose Beech Garden.
Flats face north (and overlook the YMCA) and/or south (and overlook Beech Garden between John Trundle Court, Bunyan Court and Bryer Court ).
Flats are accessed off a central corridor running from one end of the block to the other, with stairs and lifts at either end and in the middle. In some other blocks, the central corridor is on every floor. As a result, flats can only be quite shallow (from the corridor to the front or from the corridor to the back of the block). But in Bunyan Court (as in Ben Jonson House), the problem was solved by not having a corridor on every floor. Instead, there is an entrance corridor for each level of flats – on the second, third and fifth floors – which does have a central corridor, and another floor above or below it which has no corridor. This allows the building to be populated with two-storey maisonettes with internal stairs up or down to the non-corridored floor, where they can then take up the whole depth of the floor from front to back.
Bunyan Court has 7 storeys above the podium, containing 18 two-room flats, 33 three-room flats and maisonettes, 2 four-room maisonettes, 15 four-room and 1 five-room penthouse maisonettes. There are no flats below podium level. The flats are numbered 201-223, 301-323, and 501-523.
On one side of the corridor there are traditionally designed single-storey flats which just run to the outside wall (Type F2C flats for the most part). But on the other side of the corridor, there are two-storey maisonettes, which run to the other outside wall, but have internal stairs up (or down) to the non-corridored floor, where they can then take up the whole depth of the floor from front to back (Type M2A and Type M2B flats).
There are entrance doors at podium level. Bunyan Court is built over the ramp up from Fann Sreet so there’s no staircase or lift at the John Trundle Court end. But residents at that end could easily walk through to John Trundle Court and use its staircase and lift No. 58 to get to and from the podium. From the Bunyan Cout lift No. 59 there is a passage at 02 level which takes you into the car park of the Virgin Active gym which has an entrance onto Beech Street. There is also a door set in a much bigger metal gate into Bridgewater Square, which is a good shortcut at street level to reach Waitrose (or the Welsh Church in Viscount Street, if you are so minded).
Lifts and staircases
There is just one staircase and lift section No. 59 at the east (Bryer Court) end of the block.
At 03 level of the staircase and lift there is a slightly awkward entrance into the car park, halfway up a ramp.
I am not aware of any stores.
Beech Garden is an interestingly shaped gardens set in the brick surface, which is itself at different levels. The bricks have been laid in patterns to lead you through bushes to stepped areas where there are seats. The bushes are larger here than almost anywhere else. Beech Garden becomes John Trundle Highwalk near the bridge over Aldersgate Street to the Barbican Station. On one side of Beech Garden there is a mini-lake in front of Bryer Court, with little fountains and lots of plant life.
List description of this building issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (as it then was) in 2001.
“Block XV: 201-223, 301-323, 501-523 Bunyan House [sic]: seventeen-bay block, mainly of maisonettes arranged in scissor plan around central corridors. Six storeys set over open ground floor, supported on two rows each of ten paired giant columns, which extend down to frame brick paved ramp leading from Goswell Road to Beech Gardens. Entrance, lift and stair tower at north-east end. Underneath the podium is a fitness centre, entirely glazed with metal framed windows. Maisonettes have varnished timber windows set behind balconies, with metal and glass balustrades and planting boxes. Complex north elevation with paired balconies on levels 2, 3 and 5, with continuous glazing to levels 1 and 4. On the south elevation levels 1 and 4 are set behind the others. White-painted soffits. Roof level with high round-arched motif to principal rooms, entirely glazed between exposed concrete frames. These higher rooms are set in pairs with balconies between. Bunyan House is set behind a landscaped forecourt on the podium, with planting boxes formed of red paviours, and a circular fountain pool.”