October 1974. Lauderdale Tower was part of Phase II of the City’s building programme for the Barbican site. The original contractor was Turriff Limited. But after long delays and labour disputes Turriff were allowed to leave the site and their buildings were completed by John Laing Construction Limited.
Lauderdale Tower is the western-most tower and is close to Barbican Tube station and Aldersgate Street. The tower faces onto Lauderdale Place.It also overlooks Thomas More Garden.
Lauderdale Tower is 44 storeys high (garage level, street foyer level, 40 storeys of flats and 2 of penthouses).
Lauderdale Tower contains 114 flats and 3 penthouse maisonettes of similar design and layout to the flats and penthouses in Cromwell Tower.
There are three flats on each floor, each numbered for the floor number plus 1, 2 or 3 . E.g. flats on the 17th floor are numbered 171, 172, 173. They form columns of 1s, 2s, and 3s.
There are three sides. The No. ‘1’ flats have rooms along the west-facing side, and balconies looking north. The No. ‘2’ flats have rooms along the north-facing side, and balconies looking east. The No. ‘3’ flats have rooms along the east–facing side, and balconies looking south.
The ‘ground floor’ of Lauderdale Tower is at street level. The main entrance is reached by entering the estate from Beech Street then crossing Lauderdale Place to reach Lauderdale Tower. There is a ‘first floor’ podium level entrance off the highwalk for residents’ use.
There is a foyer at street level with a porter at a reception desk. The entrance at first floor level off the highwalk leads to stairs down to the foyer.
Beyond the foyer is a lobby with 3 high-speed passenger lifts.
There are stairs down the east face of Lauderdale Tower, to the left of the main entrance.
Ground floor occupants
”Cissors Palace’, the hairdressers.
The forecourt surrounding Lauderdale tower is called Lauderdale Place.The Barbican estate’s only ‘corner shop’ called Crispins used to occupy the ground floor of the tower facing Laudedale Place, but that has gone the way of all other Barbican-specific businesses. Round the back, Lauderdale Place is a bit like a set from Planet of the Apes: there are long-abandoned rocket silos with bushes growing out of them. Hidden from view, is ‘Cissors Palace’ (Is there some law that hairdressing salons must have an awful pun as the name?). In front of Lauderdale Tower itself, a few attractive-looking wooden tubs with creepers and flowers growing in them have been placed.
List description of the three towers issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (as it then was) in 2001.
“Blocks I, II and 111: Triangular plan with upswept balconies running round, jagged stepped tops containing penthouses, of up to three storeys with roof gardens. Below penthouse level there are three large flats per floor, the living rooms in the prows, served by a central triangular well with a lift on each side, which can be ordered from a common central control panel. Sliding timber windows, metal and glass balustrades, the steel uprights painted. Double-height glazed entrances, Lauderdale House also incorporating two ground-floor shops.”