How to Choose the Right Block

Basic Distinctions

Understanding the Barbican

The Barbican Estate is basically an estate of two halves: the South Barbican, where the lakes and residents’ gardens are, and the North Barbican towards the Golden Lane Estate.

Beech Street is the line of the divide. The three original residential towers, Lauderdale, Shakespeare and Cromwell, roughly run along the line of the divide.

The Towers

Lauderdale Tower and Cromwell Tower have very similar flats. Flats on the upper floors sacrifice a room to provide a larger living area. Shakespeare Tower has all its flats with that basic configuration (but room sizes differ from the other blocks).

Blake Tower contains studio to three-bedroom flats, but mainly one-bedroom flats, created by converting a former YMCA building in the Barbican Estate.

The North Barbican

It is an area of extremes. It contains most of the smallest and most of the largest terrace flats in the Barbican. There are no garden flats.

John Trundle Court, Bunyan Court and Bryer Court form three sides of a garden square. Then there is the long Ben Jonson House, with smaller Breton House running off it. A recent addition to the flat scene is Frobisher Crescent, wrapped round the Barbican Arts Centre.

John Trundle Court and Breton House contain similar studio flats. Bryer Court also is made up of studio flats.

Ben Jonson House and Bunyan Court contain most of the estate's maisonettes (two and three-storeys). These flats have an entrance off a central corridor on one floor and the whole of the depth of the floor above or below.

Frobisher Crescent is unique, with flats on the top three floors (floors 7-9), while the lower floors are offices. The flats range from studios or three-bedroom flats. The flats on the top floor (floor 9) are maisonettes with additional accommodation on a smaller upper floor.

The South Barbican

The heart of the South Barbican is the four blocks of Andrewes House, Defoe House, Thomas More House and Speed House, which box in the lake and the gardens.  Above the podium their flats are similar - generally, one or two bedroom flats, which run right through the buildings from front to back with windows at both ends. Below the podium these buildings have garden-facing or lake-facing flats.

Positioned at right angles to these four are Gilbert House, Seddon House, and Mountjoy House. Unlike the first four, they have central corridors with flats on one side or the other.

There are mews houses in Lambert Jones Mews and Brandon Mews, and more substantial houses in The Postern and Wallside.

Willoughby House, at the far east of the estate, is a bit of a one-off in flat layouts, so there are many different flat types for slightly different flats which contain different floor levels.

Andrewes House


Summary

151202_ANDREWES

BLOCK Andrewes House
LOCATION South side of the lake, overlooking Fore Street, between Gilbert House and Willoughby House.
FLOORS 2 sub podium levels, six storeys above podium, penthouses at the top.
FLATS 192, 2 to 4-room flats.
LAYOUT 'Front to back' flats.
SIMILAR Defoe House, Thomas More House, and Speed House.
NOTES Some flats have gardens facing Fore Street.

 


Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
16 17 2 1 bedroom, living room
19 12 4 2 bedroom, living room, study
20 54 3 1 bedroom, living room, study
21 54 3 2 bedroom, living room
22 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
23 18 2 1 bedroom, living room
57 6 2 1 bedroom, living room
58 6 2 1 bedroom, living room
60 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
76 14 2 1 bedroom, split-level living room, patio
78 2 1 Studio (one with patio)
79 2 3 1 bedroom, living room (one with patio)
80 2 2 1 bedroom, living room (one with patio)
81 1 4 2 bedrooms, living room (large)
TOTAL 192


Features

Andrewes House is an 'east-west' or 'front to back' block. The six storeys from first to sixth floors have living rooms which overlook Fore Street, and bedrooms which overlook the lake. Generally speaking, two flats are formed round a staircase. One flat takes the space behind the staircase and has a second bedroom, while the other takes the space between the staircase and the front of the building and has an extended living area. On the seventh floor, there are penthouse flats (mostly one-bedroom).

Andrewes House also contains sub-podium level flats which are the most interesting on the estate. There are two storeys of flats below podium and highwalk level. The living rooms look out over the lake. Some have private gardens or patios at the other, Fore Street, side, in concrete bays. It’s the only terrace block where flats have individual gardens.

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Ben Jonson House


Summary

151202_BEN JOHNSON

BLOCK Ben Jonson House
LOCATION From Bryer Court almost as far as Cromwell Tower.
FLOORS Seven storeys above podium.
FLATS 204 flats. 7 storeys of two- to five-room flats and maisonettes.
LAYOUT Small flats on south of corridors, or larger flats from front to back on two floors, including duplexes and triplexes, which face either south towards the estate or north towards the Golden Lane Estate.
SIMILAR Bunyan Court
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats. Central entrance corridors only on the second, third and fifth floors.

 


Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
F2C 66 2 1 bedroom, living room
M2A 42 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
M2B 44 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
M2C 2 2 1 bedroom, living room, store room
M3A 21 4 2 bedroom, living room, dining area, roof patio
M3B 22 4 2 bedroom, living room, dining area, roof patio
M3C 1 4 3 bedroom, living/dining room, store room, roof patio
M3D 2 4 2 bedroom, living room, dining area
M3E 2 4 2 bedroom, living room, dining area
M4A 2 5 3 bedroom, living room, dining area
TOTAL 204


Features

There are seven residential floors above podium level, including 66 two-room flats, 88 three-room maisonettes, 4 four-room maisonettes, 44 four-room and 2 five-room penthouse maisonettes. As with all north Barbican buildings, there are no flats below podium level.

The standard design for blocks running east-west was that there is a central corridor running along each floor like a spine, with flats on one side or other. If you had corridors on each floor, flats would all be quite shallow (from the front to the central corridor, or from the back to the corridor). But in Ben Jonson House, as in Bunyan Court on a smaller scale, they made much better use of the space by not having a corridor on every floor. Instead, there are central entrance corridors only on the second, third and fifth floors. This meant that, on these entrance floors, there would indeed be a row of shallow flats, with their rooms side-by-side, on one side of the central corridor. But the flats on the other side of the corridor could be on two floors. These two-storey maisonettes 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.

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Blake Tower


Summary

151202_BLAKE

BLOCK Blake Tower
LOCATION Near the junction of Aldersgate Street and Fann Street, at the bottom of the ramp, opposite the Launderette. Main entrance from the ramp.
FLOORS 20 storeys high (2 lower ground floors. Floors from 0 (ground floor level) to 17).
SIMILAR None. it is a conversion of a former YMCA building.
FLATS: 74, studio to 2-bedroom flats.
FLAT TYPES No designated flat 'types'.
NUMBERS There are between 2 and 5 flats on each floor. The first part of the number tells you the floor, and last digit tells you the flat on that floor. So '114' means flat 4 on floor 11, and 'LG13' means flat 3 on Lower Ground Floor 1. But floor 0, just has 1, 2 and 3 (no floor number).
ORIENTATION It has four sides. The north face contains the entrance. The south face contains the original fire escape stairs. The flats generally face out either east or west.

 


Flat types

There are no flat 'types' as such.

Studios

6 studio flats in the middle of the east-facing halves of floors 2 to 7. They are 44.6 m² (41.8 m² on floor 2).

One bedroom flats

39 one-bedroom flats.

  • Floors 8 upwards, they are 48 m² in area. The exceptions are two  49.7 m² flats on floor 11 and two 71.9 m² flats on floors 14 and 15.
  • Floor 3 to 7, two per floor: southern one, 51.6 m²; northern one, 53.8 m².
  • Floors LG2 to 2, sizes vary enormously: from 87.9 m² (LG2) to 49.4 m² (0).

Two bedroom flats

23 two-bedroom flats.

  • Most are on floors 8 to 13. 2 per floor, one east and one west facing (both at southern end of the block). Floors 8 upwards, they are 48 m² in area. 108 m² in area.
  • Floors 3 to 7. 2 per floor, both facing. Southern one, 81.8 m²; northern one, 71.8 m².
  • Floor 11. 2 two-bed flats. 100.2 m² in area.
  • None on floors 1-2, LG1-2.

Three bedroom flats

6 three-bedroom flats. Floors 14 to 16-17 (duplex floors).

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Features

There are 74 apartments. There are two storeys of flats below street level - Lower Ground 2 and Lower Ground 1 above it. There are flats at Ground Level and on floors 1 to 15 above. Floors 16-17 contain two duplex apartments.

The flats range from studio apartments to three-bedroom apartments. But most flats are one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments.


Brandon Mews


Summary

151202_BRANDON

BLOCK Brandon Mews
LOCATION Facing Speed Garden and the lake, below Willoughby House.
FLOORS 2 storeys.
FLATS 26 ‘houses’ or maisonettes.
LAYOUT Facing west.
SIMILAR Lambert Jones Mews
NOTES No direct access to Speed Garden.


Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
118 7 2 1 bedroom, split level living room, store
119 6 2 1 bedroom, living room
120 7 3 2 bedrooms, split level living room, store
121 6 3 2 bedrooms, living room
TOTAL 26


Features

Brandon Mews is a few steps down from Willoughby Highwalk. There are 26 houses. Seen from Willoughby Highwalk, the houses look thoroughly uninteresting. But looks are deceptive. The real attraction of Brandon Mews is that the houses form the eastern wall of Speed Garden. Seen from Speed Garden, their attractions become abundantly clear.

The inhabitants of Brandon Mews live below podium level and both their living rooms and their bedrooms face west towards the lake. Those nearest Speed House (the north part of the mews) overlook the delightful Speed Garden. Those nearest Andrewes House (the south part of the mews) overlook the ornamental waterfall from which water cascades down in front of Brandon Mews.

The windows facing onto the lake and garden are dramatic and each one seems to go right up the building, with window boxes in the middle and the distinctively Barbican “U” shape at the bottom.

There are entrance doors down from podium level on Willoughby Highwalk, each serving two houses, so, although they are called mews houses, they are more like sub-podium maisonettes. There’s no direct access from the lakeside or from Speed Gardens to Brandon Mews.

Car parking spaces are available for each house near their rear entrance doors.

The terrace has a plastic conservatory-like construction on top. The City were going to use this space for events, but the residents objected to the potential noise, so the plastic domes remain empty.

Brandon Mews is named after Robert Brandon, who helped the young Edward III seize power and was rewarded with ‘the Lordship of the Manor of Barbican’. Two centuries later his descendent, Charles Brandon, married a Willoughby and the lordship of the Manor of Barbican passed to the Willoughby family. Someone in the City was being clever over the naming of blocks, because Brandon Mews is overlooked by Willoughby House.

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Breton House


Summary

151202_BRETON

BLOCK Breton House
LOCATION A branch north off Ben Jonson House.
FLOORS 6 storeys
FLATS One-room studio flats and penthouse maisonettes.
LAYOUT Clusters of studio flats.
SIMILAR John Trundle Court
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
F1A 33 1 Studio
F2A 66 1 Studio
P2A 12 2 1 bedroom, living room
TOTAL 111

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Features

In many ways, Breton House is a mirror image of John Trundle Court. They share virtually the same basic structure, with raised entrances to the buildings up flights of stairs at the front. They have virtually identical flat types once you get inside as well. There are four lifts and staircases, each serving a cluster of five flats on each floor. The flats are almost exclusively studio flats on the lower floors and dinky two-room penthouse maisonettes at the top with spiral staircases to connect the two levels.


Bryer Court


Summary

151202_BRYER

BLOCK Bryer Court
LOCATION Next to Bunyan Court, opposite John Trundle Court.
FLOORS 7 storeys
FLATS 56 one-room studio flats and penthouses all facing west.
LAYOUT Studio flats with corridor at the back, and view at the front over Beech Garden.
SIMILAR One-off
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats. Has its own little lake at the front.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
P1D 8 1 Studio
F1E 8 1 Studio
F1D 40 1 Studio
TOTAL 56

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Features

Bryer Court is a terrace block on the north podium of the estate. It forms a 'U' with John Trundle Court (also a north to south terrace block) and Bunyan Court, an east to west terrace which runs between them. Bunyan Court and John Trundle Court are connected, but Bryer Court stands slightly apart on its own. Bryer Court backs directly onto the building called Bridgwater in Bridgwater Square, which blocks daylight into the entrance corridors at the north end.

Bryer Court is the narrowest block on the estate, so it is made up entirely of studio flats. There are 56 virtually identical studios on 7 storeys, starting above podium level.


Bunyan Court


Summary

151202_BUNYAN

BLOCK Bunyan Court
LOCATION Runs from John Trundle Court to Bryer Court and spans the ramp down to Fann Street.
FLOORS Seven storeys above podium.
FLATS 68 flats. 7 storeys of two- to five-room flats.
LAYOUT Small flats on south of corridors, or larger flats from front to back on two floors, and triplex penthouses, which face either south Beech Garden or north towards the Golden Lane Estate and the Wild Garden.
SIMILAR Ben Jonson House
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats. Central entrance corridors only on the second, third and fifth floors.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
F2C 18 2 1 bedroom, living room
F3C 3 3 2 bedrooms, living room
M2A 14 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
M2B 16 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
M3A 7 4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area, roof patio
M3B 8 4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area, roof patio
M3D 1 4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area
M3E 1 4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area
M4A 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, roof patio
TOTAL 69

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Features

Bunyan Court has seven storeys above the podium, containing 18 two-room flats, 33 three-room flats and maisonettes, two four-room maisonettes, 15 four-room and one five-room penthouse maisonette. There are no flats below podium level.

Bunyan Court is actually rather like a smaller version of Ben Jonson House, in that it has some small flats just on one floor, on one side of the central corridor, and larger two-storey maisonettes taking up the width of a full floor above or below. I explain how that works precisely in the Ben Jonson House section above.


Cromwell Tower


Summary

151202_CROMWELL

BLOCK Cromwell Tower
LOCATION The junction of Beech Street and Silk Street, near to the Arts Centre. It is the eastern-most of the three Barbican Towers. Cromwell Tower faces onto Cromwell Place, and at first floor level onto Cromwell Highwalk. Main entrance from Cromwell Place.
FLOORS 43 storeys high (garage level, ground level, podium level, 38 storeys of flats and two of penthouses).
SIMILAR Lauderdale Tower and Shakespeare Tower
FLATS: 108, 4 to 5-room flats. 3 penthouse maisonettes.Similar design and layout to the flats and penthouses in Lauderdale Tower.
FLAT TYPES Types 1A, 1B and 1C on most floors. Types 3A, 3B and 7C on floors 9, 19 and 29. 8 Types 2A and 2B on floors 34-33.
NUMBERS 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.
ORIENTATION There are three sides. The No. '1' flats have rooms along the east-facing side, and balconies looking north. The No. '2' flats have rooms along the north-east-facing side, and balconies looking west. The No. '3' flats have rooms along the west--facing side, and balconies looking south.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
1A 30 6 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, breakfast room
1B 30 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area
1C 31 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area
2A 5 5 3 bedrooms, living room, breakfast room
2B 3 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
3A 3 6 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, breakfast room (no shower room)
3B 3 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, (no shower room)
3C 2 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area
3CA* 1 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
4A 1 5 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, 1 shower room, roof terrace, conservatory, balcony
4B 1 6/7 5 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, 2 shower rooms, roof terrace, conservatory, balconies
4C 1 6/7 5 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 3 bathrooms, 1 shower room, roof terrace, conservatory, store room, dressing room, balcony
TOTAL 111
* Altered 3C, flat 93

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Features

Cromwell Tower (completed in January 1973) is the eastern-most tower, and sits at the Silk Street end of the estate, next to the entrance to the Barbican Centre. It’s the tower nearest to Moorgate. At podium level it is close to the Conservatory – a mini “Eden Project” in the Barbican Centre.

Cromwell Tower is 43 storeys high (garage level, ground level, podium level, 38 storeys of flats and two of penthouses). It contains 108 large flats. There are three penthouse maisonettes on a top which is so jagged that it looks as if a giant broke the top off an even higher tower.

Flats with a ‘1’ at the end of the flat number are on the side of the tower with most of the rooms looking east towards Spitalfields, and with the living room balcony facing north. The ‘2’s have the bedroom windows looking north-east and the living room balcony facing west towards Smithfield. The bedrooms of the ‘3’s face west, and their living room balconies give a view south towards the river.

[The internal layout of the flats in Lauderdale Tower and Cromwell Tower is almost identical, so please bear with me for using much the same wording in each section. But there some differences.]

As originally constructed, all the flats have a master bedroom at one end, and some smaller bedrooms all in a line heading down the corridor towards the living area, with bathroom, shower room and kitchen on the inner side of the corridor. The living area takes up the full width of the flat at the end.

Types 1A, 1B and 1C are the basic flat layouts. Most floors contain flats of these three types fitted together. Types 1B and 1C contain a living room, a dining area, and four bedrooms (5/6 rooms). Type 1A is slightly differently laid out and contains a living room, a dining room, a breakfast room, and three bedrooms (6 rooms). 1B and 1C flats have sliding partitions which can separate off the dining area.

The main entrance of the tower is at street level, at the corner of Beech Street and Silk Street, and it can also be accessed from within the estate at podium level. The connection with Oliver Cromwell is that Cromwell got married at St Giles Without Cripplegate (the church beside the Barbican lake) in 1620. This one afternoon excursion appears to be his only connection with the Barbican.

If you have a look at the plans (click here) you will see that a lot of this is about how you name bits of open space. The Type 1A is not really that different from the others. In the 1970s, they hadn’t heard of trays obviously. The architects assumed you would sacrifice children for family dinner, and re-named bedroom four as a dining room, although it could perfectly well serve as a fourth bedroom – it is just the name put on the plan. In some flats, the owners have opened the bedroom/dining room into the living room to create extra living space.

The standard types differ in their balconies. Type 1B has a triangular balcony, in contrast to the rectangular balconies of Types 1A and 1C (which has the largest balcony).

A few flats are 2A, 2B or 2C, which are simply 1A, 1B and 1C flats, but with one room omitted from the standard layout to give a larger living room. These are found on floors 34 to 38.

All the above flats include a kitchen, a bathroom, a toilet and a shower-room. (These are not included in the room count I am giving in brackets.)

A few flats are Types 3A, 3B or 3C, which are 1A, 1B and 1C flats, but without the separate shower room. These are on the 9th, 19th and 29th floors. The lost space is something to do with the building’s drainage system.

Then there are the three penthouse flats at the top of the tower, which are Types 4A, 4B, and 4C. Types 4B and 4C each have a living room, a dining area, and five bedrooms (6/7 rooms), but the Type 4B has two bathrooms and two shower rooms, while the Type 4C has three bathrooms and one shower room. The Type 4A has a living room, a dining area, and four bedrooms, and has two bathrooms and one shower room. They each have a roof terrace, and a conservatory, as well as the usual balconies.


Defoe House


Summary

151202_DEFOE

BLOCK Defoe House
LOCATION Roughly between Lauderdale Tower and the Barbican Centre. It forms the northern side of Thomas More Garden.
FLOORS Two sub podium levels, seven storeys above podium.
FLATS: 178 flats. 2- to 4-room flats and penthouses on top floor.
LAYOUT 'Front to back' flats.
SIMILAR Andrewes House, Thomas More House, and Speed House.
NOTES None of the garden level flats have entrances onto the garden.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
20 59 3 1 bedroom, living room, study
21 48 3 2 bedrooms, living room
23 18 2 1 bedroom, living room
49 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
50 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
51 6 4 2 bedrooms, large living room, dining area
52 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
53 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
54 6 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
56 5 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
57 12 2 1 bedroom, living room
58 12 2 1 bedroom, living room
60 4 2 1 bedroom, living room
61 2 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining room
TOTAL 178

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Features

In Defoe House there are 178 flats and maisonettes. Above podium level, the flats and their layouts are very similar to those in Andrewes House.

There are six storeys of one and two bedroom flats, and one-bedroom penthouse flats on the top floor. Defoe House have very different ‘garden’ flats; they occupy two sub-podium levels (but not right along the block), and they have no access to the garden. Living rooms of all flats have a view over the garden or the lake, and the bedrooms at the back look out over the garden square between John Trundle Court and Bryer Court at the western end of Defoe House or Shakespeare Tower at eastern end.


Frobisher Crescent


Summary

151202_FROBISHER

BLOCK Frobisher Crescent
LOCATION Part of the Barbican Centre.
FLOORS 7, 8 and 9. The three top storeys.
FLATS 69 flats. Flats of various sizes.
LAYOUT Flats with views over the inner Sculpture Court and entered from corridors on the outer edge of the building.
SIMILAR One-off. Modern conversion.
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats. Offices below the residential floors.


Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
7.1 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
7.2 7 4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
7.3 3 1 Studio
7.4 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
7.5 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
7.6 1 1 Studio
7.7 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
7.8 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
7.9 1 1 Studio
7.10 1 1 Studio
7.11 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
8.1 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
8.2 2 4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
8.3 13 1 Studio
8.4 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
8.5 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
8.6 1 1 Studio
8.7 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
8.8 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
8.9 1 1 Studio
8.10 1 1 Studio
8.11 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area.
9.1 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room.
9.2 17 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
9.3 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room.
9.4 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room.
9.5 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
9.6 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
9.7 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
9.8 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
9.9 1 2 1 bedrooms, living / dining area.
9.10 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room.
TOTAL 69

To be honest, it is a grey area whether 'living/dining area' (1 room) should be treated as 'living room and separate dining area' (2 rooms) in an open plan layout. I may not always have been consistent. So please check for yourselves before taking my room numbers as gospel.


Features

Frobisher Crescent has finally been reborn, at least partly, as the fabulous block of flats it always should have been. Modern flats have been built on the top three floors – the seventh, eighth and ninth floors. (The building has nine ‘levels’ in all: six above ground and three, including car parking, below ground. The other three levels above ground, but below the flats, are Barbican Centre offices.) The development into flats was carried out in 2009-10 by The United House Group, and the flats were sold by the City. There are 69 flats, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. This is the most exciting new development at the Barbican since ... well, since the Barbican. More flats are probably to follow at some point in the future, but not for now.

There are a lot of complicated access arrangements with lifts leading to the south podium on Defoe Place, the north podium opposite Ben Jonson House, and the Barbican Centre (with out of hours access from Silk Street).


Gilbert House


Summary

151202_GILBERT

BLOCK Defoe House
LOCATION Roughly between Lauderdale Tower and the Barbican Centre. It forms the northern side of Thomas More Garden.
FLOORS Two sub podium levels, seven storeys above podium.
FLATS: 178 flats. 2- to 4-room flats and penthouses on top floor.
LAYOUT 'Front to back' flats.
SIMILAR Andrewes House, Thomas More House, and Speed House.
NOTES None of the garden level flats have entrances onto the garden.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
26 18 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
27 2 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
31 27 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
32 3 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
35 9 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
36 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
39 5 5 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area, study
41 1 5 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area, study
70 12 3 1 bedroom, dressing room, living room, dining area
71 6 2 1 bedroom, living room
72 2 2 1 bedroom, living room, roof patio
73 1 1 Studio
74 1 2 1 bedroom, living room, roof patio
TOTAL 88

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Features

It would be hard to beat Gilbert House (completed in August 1969) for a dramatic location. Right in the centre of the Barbican, it straddles the lake on tall stilts. Underneath it, runs Gilbert Bridge, the marvellous suspended walkway across the lake from the Barbican Arts Centre in the north to the City in the south.

Flats face either west or east. The west-facing flats have sun most of the day and look out over the lake and the terrace in front of the Barbican Centre. The east-facing flats get sun in the morning only, but they look out over the more attractive and peaceful half of the lake with the waterfall at the end.

Like Willoughby House and Seddon House, Gilbert House is a ‘north-south’ (or side-to-side) terrace (see above). These buildings all have flats only above podium level – there are no sub-podium levels of flats. There are two main entrances off Gilbert bridge.

Gilbert House contains 88 flats and penthouses. There are five storeys of mainly one-bedroom flats with a living area and a dining area which can be separated by a shutter or opened out as a single living area. There are some larger and differently shaped flats at the ends of each floor. With entrances on the sixth floor, there are two-storey duplex (or maisonette) penthouses at the top of Gilbert House. The seventh floor contains two additional bedrooms, but it doesn’t cover the whole sixth floor; it forms a gallery round the sixth floor living room, which is, therefore, double-height. (There are different-shaped one storey penthouse flats at either end of the block.)


John Trundle Court


Summary

151202_JOHN TRUNDLE

BLOCK John Trundle Court
LOCATION From Lauderdale Tower to Bunyan Court, overlooking Aldersgate Street.
FLOORS 6 storeys
FLATS 117 one-room studio flats and 16 penthouse maisonettes.
LAYOUT Clusters of studio flats.
SIMILAR Breton House
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
F1A 38 1 Studio
F2A 74 1 Studio
F2B 5 1 Studio
P2A 15 2 1 bedroom, living room
P2B 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
TOTAL 133

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Features

The flats either face onto Aldersgate Street at the back, or Beech Garden at the front. Access to the building is up a half flight of steps from Beech Garden. From this raised entrance foyer, lifts and stairs go up to the flats above.

As in Breton House, which it closely resembles, the accommodation consists of clusters of studio flats grouped round the individual lifts and staircases. There are 117 one-room studio flats on six storeys. There are 16 penthouse maisonettes on the top storeys, with a living room and kitchen at the entrance level and a spiral staircase leading to a bedroom and the bathroom on the upper level. Unlike most other buildings on the estate, there are some flats on the mezzanine level.


Lambert Jones Mews


Summary

151202_LAMBERT JONES

BLOCK Lambert Jones Mews
LOCATION Facing Thomas More Garden, below Seddon House.
FLOORS 2 storeys.
FLATS 8 ‘houses’ or maisonettes.
LAYOUT The windows face east.
SIMILAR Roof patios. Cobbled road at front
NOTES Some houses have direct access to Thomas More Garden.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
10 8 6 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, general purposes room, integral garage

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Features

Lambert Jones Mews forms the east boundary of Thomas More Garden. It sits at right angles to Defoe House and to Thomas More House, just below Lauderdale Place, where it has its own private, cobbled mews road. These are highly desirable mews houses and rarely come on the market.

The most similar properties are the houses of Brandon Mews. Wallside and Postern contain larger houses. Brandon Mews houses are really more like maisonettes. The Lambert Jones Mews houses are incontestably terraced houses.

The backs of the houses, with walls mainly occupied by windows, face onto Thomas More Garden. On the road side (which is nominally the front – since it contains the main entrance doors) each house has an integral garage which takes up some of the ground floor of the house. The road comes off Aldersgate Street. Temporary car parking is available on the cobbled mews road in front of the houses and there is the Thomas More car park next to the mews. The houses also have small balconies at the front over the mews road.

The real feature of the houses is the living room which is double height and has floor-to-ceiling windows onto the garden, so that even when sitting in your living room you can stare contentedly over the garden and watch out for foxes. Many of the houses have back doors opening directly onto Thomas More Garden - no other Barbican properties allow you to actually stroll out of your living room straight into the garden. On the first floor, there is a gallery round the double height living room, which contains a dining area, kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a separate WC. To cap it all, they have little terraces on the roofs, at the height of the podium, where the residents can enjoy cocktails on balmy summer evenings (which we occasionally have). These terraces are much-used in the Summer, even thought they are overlooked by people going up the steps to Defoe House, or standing on the podium there. But it is a small price to pay, and it's a sure bet that other residents are overlooking them with envy.


Lauderdale Tower


Summary

151202_LAUDERDALE

BLOCK Lauderdale Tower
LOCATION The junction of Beech Street and Aldersgate Street, opposite Barbican Underground Station and Virgin Active club.. It is the westernmost of the three Barbican Towers.The tower faces onto Lauderdale Place. The main entrance is in Lauderdale Place.
FLOORS 44 storeys high (garage level, podium level, 40 storeys of flats and two of penthouses).
FLAT TYPES Types 1A, 1B and 1C on most floors. Types 3A, 3B and 7C on floors 11, 21 and 31. 18 Types 2A, 2B and 2C on floors 33-40. A handful of other types.
SIMILAR Cromwell Tower and Shakespeare Tower
FLATS 114, 4 to 5-room flats. 3 penthouse maisonettes.
NUMBERS 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.
ORIENTATION 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.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
1A 24 6 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, breakfast room
1B 28 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area
1C 29 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area
2A 8 5 3 bedrooms, living room, breakfast room
2B 6 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
2C 4 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
3A 3 6 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, breakfast room (no shower room)
3B 3 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, (no shower room)
3C 3 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, (no shower room)
4A 1 5 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, 1 shower room, roof terrace, conservatory, balcony
4B 1 6/7 5 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, 2 shower rooms, roof terrace, conservatory, balconies
4C 1 6/7 5 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 3 bathrooms, 1 shower room, roof terrace, conservatory, store room, dressing room, balcony
5A 5 6 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, breakfast room
6B 1 3/4 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area
7C 3 5/6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, (no shower room)
TOTAL 117

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Features

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 internal layout of the flats in Lauderdale Tower and Cromwell Tower is almost identical, so please bear with me for using much the same wording in each section. But there some differences.]

As originally constructed, all the flats have a master bedroom at one end, and some smaller bedrooms all in a line heading down the corridor towards the living area, with bathroom, shower room and kitchen on the inner side of the corridor. The living area takes up the full width of the flat at the end.

Types 1A, 1B and 1C are the basic flat layouts. Most floors contain flats of these three types fitted together. Types 1B and 1C contain a living room, a dining area, and four bedrooms (5/6 rooms). Type 1A is slightly differently laid out and contains a living room, a dining room, a breakfast room, and three bedrooms (6 rooms). 1B and 1C flats have sliding partitions which can separate off the dining area.

If you have a look at the plans (click here) you will see that a lot of this is about how you name bits of open space. The Type 1A is not really that different from the others. In the 1970s, they hadn’t heard of trays obviously. The architects assumed you would sacrifice children for family dinner, and re-named bedroom four as a dining room, although it could perfectly well serve as a fourth bedroom – it is just the name put on the plan. In some flats, the owners have opened the bedroom/dining room into the living room to create extra living space.

The standard types differ in their balconies. Type 1B has a triangular balcony, in contrast to the rectangular balconies of Types 1A and 1C (which has the largest balcony). A few flats are 2A, 2B or 2C, which are simply 1A, 1B and 1C flats, but with one room omitted from the standard layout to give a larger living room. These are found on floors 33 to 40.

All the above flats include a kitchen, a bathroom, a toilet and a shower-room. (These are not included in the room count I am giving in brackets.)

A few flats are Types 3A, 3B and 7C, which are 1A, 1B and 1C flats, but without the separate shower room. These are on the 11th, 21st and 31st floors. The lost space is something to do with the building’s drainage system.

Lauderdale Tower differs from Cromwell Tower in having five Type 5A flats, which have a living room, a dining room, a breakfast room and three bedrooms (6 rooms), and a 6B flat which is much smaller than the others and contains a living room, a dining area and only two bedrooms (3/4 rooms) Then there are the three penthouse flats at the top of the tower, which are Types 4A, 4B, and 4C. Types 4B and 4C each have a living room, a dining area, and five bedrooms (6/7 rooms), but the Type 4B has two bathrooms and two shower rooms, while the Type 4C has three bathrooms and one shower room. The Type 4A has a living room, a dining area, and four bedrooms, and has two bathrooms and one shower room. They each have a roof terrace, and a conservatory, as well as the usual balconies.

The main entrance is at street level, but there is a subsidiary entrance off the pedestrian walkway at north Barbican level. There is a large forecourt in front of the tower, containing the Barbican Estate Office and a shop.


Mountjoy House


Summary

151202_MOUNTJOY

BLOCK Mountjoy House
LOCATION Runs south at right angles from the eastern end of Thomas More House, heading in the direction of the Museum of London.
FLOORS Seven storeys above podium.
FLATS: 64 flats. 6 storeys of two- to five-room flats. Some two-storey duplexes or maisonette penthouses at storeys 6 and 7.
LAYOUT ‘Side to side' flats, which face either east towards St Giles’ Church and the small lake or west towards the landscaped area used by the pupils of the City of London School for Girls.
SIMILAR Gilbert House and Seddon House
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
24 6 2 1 bedroom, living room
25 5 5 2 bedrooms, living room, study, dining room
26 10 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
27 2 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
28 6 3
29 6 3 1 bedroom, L-shaped living room, dining area
30 1 5 2 bedrooms, living room, study, dining room
31 15 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
32 3 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
33 1 2 1 bedroom, L-shaped living room, roof patio
34 1 2 1 bedroom, L-shaped living room, roof patio
35 5 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms roof patio
36 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
37 1 2 1 bedroom, living room, roof patio
38 1 2 1 bedroom, living room, roof patio
TOTAL 64

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Features

Mountjoy House is very similar to Gilbert House and Seddon House. It contains 64 flats and penthouses ranging in size from two to five rooms. The flats are more or less identical to the flats in Gilbert House. There are five storeys of flats, and penthouse maisonettes at the top, but no sub-podium or garden flats.

If you have ever seen D W Griffith’s silent masterpiece ‘Intolerance’, set in ancient Babylon, with a huge procession descending dramatic ceremonial stairs, you will immediately recognise the wide stairs under Mountjoy House leading down to the lakeside. But the strange thing is that they are completely cut off. They are ceremonial stairs leading to the lakeside, but from nowhere. No one has any idea what they were originally intended for. Mind you, the Barbican is full of stairs that seem to lead nowhere. If you take the obvious stairs in the Barbican Centre to the library, you find yourself instead on a separate landing, with a ten foot leap across a stairwell as the only way to reach the library. (It’s usually best to go back down and start again.)


The Postern


Summary

151202_POSTERN

BLOCK The Postern
LOCATION Facing west towards the church, but entrances on the highwalk.
FLOORS Four storeys
FLATS Seven houses
LAYOUT Windows overlook St Giles church. Street doors onto Fore Street. Higher level doors on the highwalk.
SIMILAR Wallside
NOTES Includes the Rectory of St Giles.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
67/68 7 6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining room, store, 2 bathrooms, roof terrace, integral garage
Maisonette 1 5 4 bedrooms, living room, double roof terrace
No. 3 1 2 Bed sitting room, utility room
TOTAL 9

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Features

The Postern is a terrace of houses or maisonettes which have entrances off Wood Street, but also from St Giles Terrace inside the estate. The houses also have access at a higher level from Postern Bridge, which is a covered pedestrian highwalk from the Barbican Estate heading towards the City.

There are seven houses (on four storeys with garages), a maisonette, and a flat. Most of these properties are used for commercial purposes, and one is the Rectory of St Giles’ Church.


Seddon House


Summary

151202_SEDDON

BLOCK Seddon House
LOCATION Between Thomas More House and Lauderdale Tower.
FLOORS Seven storeys above podium.
FLATS: 75 flats. 6 storeys of two- to five-room flats. Some two-storey duplexes or maisonette penthouses at storeys 6 and 7.
LAYOUT ‘Side to side' flats, which face either east towards Thomas More Garden or west to overlook Aldersgate Street.
SIMILAR Gilbert House, Mountjoy House
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
26 14 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
27 2 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
28 5 3 1 bedroom, L-shaped living room, dining area
29 5 3 1 bedroom, L-shaped living room, dining area
31 21 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
32 3 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining area
35 7 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
36 1 5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
39 5 5 2 bedrooms, living room, study, dining room
40 6 3 1 bedroom, living room
41 1 5 2 bedrooms, living room, study, dining room
42 1 5 3 bedrooms, L-shaped living room/study area, dining area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
43 1 4 2 bedrooms, L-shaped living room/study area, 2 bathrooms, roof patio
44 1 1 Studio, shower room only
45 1 1 Studio
46 1 2 1 bedroom, L-shaped living room, roof patio
TOTAL 75

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Features

Seddon House has 75 flats and maisonettes, ranging from one-room studio flats to five-room penthouse maisonettes. There are five storeys of flats above podium level with penthouse maisonettes above that.

An access corridor runs through the middle of the block, with lifts and staircases at each end. The flats are identical on either side of the corridor – but are very different in aspect. The occupier of flats on the east side enjoy a view of Thomas More Garden, while those on the west probably don’t derive quite so much pleasure from their view over Aldersgate Street.


Shakespeare Tower


Summary

151202_SHAKESPEARE

BLOCK Shakespeare Tower
LOCATION Shakespeare Tower is the centre-most of the three Barbican Towers. It stands in the south podium, and is linked to the north podium (which is a few meters higher to take account of the slight slope of the Barbican site overall). The main entrance is on the south podium in Defoe Place.
FLOORS 44 storeys high (garage level, podium level, 40 storeys of flats and two of penthouses).
SIMILAR Cromwell Tower and Lauderdale Tower
FLATS 113, 4 to 5-room flats. 3 penthouse maisonettes.
FLAT TYPES Types 8A, 8B and 8C on most floors. Types 9A, 9B and 9C on floors 10, 20 and 30.
NUMBERS 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.
ORIENTATION There are three sides. The No. '1' flats have rooms along the south-facing side, and balconies looking east. The No. '2' flats have rooms along the east-facing side, and balconies looking north. The No. '3' flats have rooms along the north--facing side, and balconies looking west.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
8A 37 5 3 bedrooms, living room, breakfast room
8B 34 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
8C 33 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area
4A 1 5 4 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, 1 shower room, roof terrace, conservatory, balcony
4B 1 6/7 5 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 2 bathrooms, 2 shower rooms, roof terrace, conservatory, balconies
4C 1 6/7 5 bedrooms, living room, dining area, 3 bathrooms, 1 shower room, roof terrace, conservatory, store room, dressing room, balcony
9A 3 5 3 bedrooms, living room, breakfast room (no shower room)
9B 3 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area (no shower room)
9C 3 4/5 3 bedrooms, living room, dining area (no shower room)
TOTAL 116

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Features

Shakespeare Tower (completed in February 1976) is right in the middle of the estate, just to the west of the Barbican Centre. It is also 44 storeys high (consisting of garage level, podium level, 40 storeys of flats and two of penthouses). It contains 113 large flats and three penthouse maisonettes. It featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest residential building in Europe for many years. Flats with a ‘1’ at the end of the flat number are on the side of the tower with most of the rooms looking south towards the river, and with the living room balcony facing east. The ‘2’s have the bedroom windows looking east and the living room balcony facing north. The bedrooms of the ‘3’s face north, and their living room balconies give a view west towards Smithfield and the West End.

As originally constructed, all the flats have a master bedroom at one end, and some smaller bedrooms all in a line heading down the corridor towards the living area, with bathroom, shower room and kitchen on the inner side of the corridor. The living area takes up the full width of the flat at the end.

Types 8A, 8B and 8C are the basic flat layouts. Most floors contain flats of these three types fitted together. Types 8B and 8C contain a living room, a dining room, and three bedrooms (4/5 rooms). Type 8A is slightly differently laid out and contains a breakfast room in place of a dining room. 8B and 8C flats have sliding partitions which can separate off the dining area.

The flats in Shakespeare Tower are subtly different from their cousins in Lauderdale Tower and Cromwell Tower. Standard Shakespeare Tower flats have three bedrooms, not four or 'three and a dining area' as in the other towers. The Type 8B and 8C flats have a dining area next to the living area and leading into the kitchen, as do the 1B and 1C type flats in the other towers. But just like the Type 1A flats in the other towers, the Type 8A flats in Shakespeare Tower have a reduced size ‘breakfast room' rather than a dining area. (The architects judged that you needed less elbow room for eating breakfasts than for other meals.) A further difference is that, whereas the Type 8B and 8C flats of the other towers, have second bathrooms, all the flats in Shakespeare Tower have a shower room (with WC) like the Type 1A flats in the other towers. (The 10th, 20th and 30th floors are slightly different. Instead of the shower room there is only a separate WC. These are Types 9A, 9B and 9C.)


Speed House


Summary

151202_SPEED

BLOCK Speed House
LOCATION Between Willoughby House and the Guildhall School of Music.
FLOORS One sub podium level, seven storeys above podium.
FLATS: 114, 2 to 5-room flats and penthouses on top floor. The sub podium flats are two-storey maisonettes.
LAYOUT 'Front to back' flats
SIMILAR Andrewes House, Defoe House, and Thomas More House
NOTES Facing onto Speed Garden.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
19 6 4 2 bedrooms, living room, study
20 36 3 1 bedroom, living room, study
21 36 3 2 bedrooms, living room
22 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
23 12 2 1 bedroom, living room
58 6 2 1 bedroom, living room
60 1 2 1 bedroom, living room
84 9 2 1 bedroom, living room
85 6 5 2 bedrooms, living room, dining area, reception area/study
86 1 3 1 bedroom, living room, dining room
TOTAL 114

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Features

Speed House is very similar to Defoe House, Andrewes House, and Thomas More House. Like them, it is an is an 'east-west' or 'front to back' block (see above). It has 114 flats, maisonettes and penthouses with accommodation varying from two to five rooms. There are five floors of flats starting one level above the podium, with penthouse flats on the top floor.

At the front, Speed House overlooks its own very attractive garden with swings and a slide for children. That is the way the living rooms face. At the back of Speed House is Speed Highwalk, with round concrete tubs full of flowering plants, and some wooden benches. Otherwise, the outlook from bedrooms is over the office buildings in Silk Street and the new block of flats, The Heron.

Where Speed House differs from its brother buildings is in the configuration of its sub-podium or garden flats. In Thomas More and Andrewes Houses, there are two or three storeys of single-level flats. Speed House contains a row of two-storey maisonettes below the podium. They are quite small, with living room and kitchen on the lower level, and a bedroom and bathroom above, with both living room and bedroom windows facing north over Speed Garden and lake.


Thomas More House


Summary

151202_THOMAS MORE

BLOCK Thomas More House
LOCATION South side of Thomas More Garden, between Seddon House and the Girls School.
FLOORS 3 sub podium levels, six storeys above podium, penthouses at the top.
FLATS: 155, 1- to 4-room flats.
LAYOUT 'Front to back' flats.
SIMILAR Andrewes House, Defoe House, and Speed House.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
12 1 1 Bedsit
13 11 1 Bedsit
14 1 1 Bedsit
16 24 2 1 bedroom, living room
19 12 4 2 bedrooms, living room, study
20 48 3 1 bedroom, living room, study
21 48 3 2 bedrooms, living room
22 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
23 16 2 1 bedroom, living room
TOTAL 163

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Features

Thomas More House is very similar to Defoe House, Andrewes House, and Speed House. Like them, it is an is an 'east-west' or 'front to back' block (see above). It contains 155 flats ranging in size from one to four rooms. Above podium level, there are six storeys of flats. On the top floor, there are penthouses. This is virtually the same layout as in the other three similar blocks: Defoe, Andrewes and Speed Houses.

Thomas More Garden, there are three storeys of sub-podium or garden level flats. The flats on the lowest garden level are studio flats. Above, are two upper levels of larger flats. All have living rooms facing onto Thomas More Garden, as opposed to the flats above the podium which are oriented the other way round so the living rooms face south. The lowest sub-podium flats have almost direct access, via shared steps, onto the garden itself.


Wallside


Summary

151202_WALLSIDE

BLOCK Wallside
LOCATION Facing south onto Monkwell Square and south into the estate.
FLOORS Four storeys
FLATS 16 houses
LAYOUT Windows overlook the old City walls. Street doors onto Monkwell Square. Higher level doors on the highwalk
SIMILAR The Postern
NOTES They no longer strictly form part of the Barbican Estate.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
63/64 14 6 4 bedrooms, living room, dining room, 2 bathrooms, cloakroom, roof terrace, integral garage, store
TOTAL 14

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Features

Wallside (completed March 1971) runs along the southern edge of the Barbican Estate and it is a terrace of sixteen four-storey town houses, a doctor's surgery with a flat, and a dentist's surgery (without a flat). The front doors of the houses are in Monkwell Square at road level. The houses have integral garages and arched entrance lobbies next to them and a store room at the back. There are stairs up from there. In addition, each house has a door off Wallside Highwalk at a higher level.

A central staircase divides the floors. A half-flight of stairs leads to the living room, and a further half-flight to the dining room and kitchen. Another half-flight leads to a bedroom and a second bathroom and separate WC. A final half-flight goes up to two further bedrooms at the back. From there, there is access to a roof terrace.


Willoughby House


Summary

151202_WILLOUGHBY

BLOCK Willoughby House
LOCATION Between Andrews House and Speed House. Eastern boundary of the estate.
FLOORS Seven storeys above podium.
FLATS: 148 flats. 6 storeys of flats and maisonettes. Two-storey duplexes or maisonette penthouses at storeys 6 and 7.
LAYOUT ‘Front to back' flats on an ‘up and over’ configurations, so bedrooms face either towards Britannic House and living rooms face  west over Speed Garden and the lake.
SIMILAR It’s a one-off.
NOTES No sub-podium or garden flats.

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Flat types

Type Total Rooms Accommodation
90 16 2 1 bedroom, living room
91 16 2 1 bedroom, living room
92 4 2 1 bedroom, living room
93 4 2 1 bedroom, living room
94 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
95 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
96 16 3 2 bedrooms, living room
97 16 3 2 bedrooms, living room
98 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
99 2 3 1 bedroom, living room, store room
100 12 2 1 bedroom, living room
101 12 3 1 bedroom, living room, with dining/study area
103 6 3 2 bedrooms, living room
104 2 3 2 bedrooms, living room
105 8 4 3 bedrooms, living room
106 1 3 2 bedrooms, living room
107 1 3 2 bedrooms, living room, store room
108 2 3 1 bedroom, living room, lounge/study
109 8 4 2 bedrooms, living room, lounge/study
110 8 3 1 bedroom, living room, lounge/study
111 1 3 1 bedroom, living room, lounge/study
112 1 3 1 bedroom, living room, lounge/study
113 2 3 2 bedrooms, living room
114 2 2 1 bedroom, living room
115 2 3 2 bedrooms, living room
TOTAL 148

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Features

Like all terraces running north to south (see above), there is a central internal corridor running down the middle of the building on each floor. In all the other north to south blocks, flats are on one side of the corridor or the other, and all their windows face either east or west.

But the Barbican designers thought that the view over Moor Lane was too awful for living rooms to face that way. So the majority of the accommodation is planned on what they call the ‘Scissors’ or the ‘Up and Over’ principle. In other words, you go ‘up’ to your living area and then ‘over’ (the corridor) to your bedroom area. (Alternatively, you go down and under.) The result is that all the living rooms of maisonettes look west over the lake and all the bedrooms face east over Moor Lane. The complexity of squeezing the typical east-west flat arrangement into a north-south building meant that flats are rarely the same. Willoughby House contains 148 flats and maisonettes. There are six storeys of single-level flats with two-storey penthouse maisonettes above. Willoughby has almost as many penthouse types as flat types. Generally they have the living room, a bedroom and another bedroom stacked on top of each other, with the kitchen bathroom and WC located according to the dictates of space.