Andrewes House in the Barbican Estate

sketchandrewesFront page of the City’s original letting brochure for Andrewes House

Building completed

July or November 1969 (depending on the source of information). Andrewes House was part of Phase III of the City’s building programme for the Barbican site. The contractor was John Laing Construction Limited.


Andrewes House is the terrace block which runs along the south side of the lake, from the bridge across the lake to the waterfall at the far end. It sits between Gilbert House and Willoughby House. At the upper levels, living rooms overlook Fore Street, and bedrooms overlook the lake. Level 02 is actual ground level – the level of the lake and the streets (Fore Street and Wood Street).


Andrewes House is an ‘east-west’ or ‘front to back’ block which means that it runs from east to west and the flats extend the whole depth of the block from the front to the back (so residents look out of their windows north and south).


The block contains 192 flats (numbered 1-192) of 13 different types, varying from 2-room to 4-room flats. The regular flats and penthouse flats above podium level follow virtually the same layout as in the other three similar blocks: Defoe, Thomas More and Speed Houses.

The garden or sub-podium flats are a bit different. There are two storeys of flats below podium level. At each level the living rooms look out over the lake. The lower garden level flats also have their own private gardens or patios at the front adjoining Fore Street (which is screened by a high wall). This is the only block where garden flats have individual gardens.

Similar blocks.

There are four very similar terrace blocks: Andrewes House and Speed House which face each other over the lake; and Thomas More House and Defoe House, which face each other over Thomas More Garden. They each have penthouse flats at the top, ‘garden’ flats below the Podium level, and 6 floors of flats in between.


There are entrance doors at podium level on Andrewes Highwalk for each staircase. There is also access from Fore Street and Wood Street via lfit and staircase No. 49, which is next to The Wood Street Grill. Or you can reach the lifts at 03 level from the underground car park.

Lifts and staircases.

Since each flat takes up the depth of the building, there is no central corridor. Instead, there are separate staircases with lifts at intervals along the block. There are 12 staircases, numbered 38 to 49. Each staircase serves two flats on each floor.

Car parking.

On 03 level there is access to Andrewes Car Park, whose entrance is off Fore Street. This is a vast car park which stretches below Willoughby House, Postern, and St Giles’ Church. It is accessed by taking the lift to level 03, then walking past the stores out onto the ramp, and then down to the car park itself.


On 03 level there are tenants’ stores.

List description

List description of this building issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (as it then was) in 2001.

“Block VIII: 1-192 Andrewes House. Seven storeys above podium with two storeys under. Eleven broad bays between giant concrete columns supporting cross beams, the ends of the beams on other floors exposed to form a rhythm of large bays. Each of these are subdivided into three room spans, forming a pattern for the flats along the facades of two and one units width between glazed firescreens. The podium is open, but with glazed entrances to the flats in each of the eleven bays. Sliding varnished timber windows set behind paved balconies (renewe d 1999-2000), with metal and glass balustrades and many with concrete window boxes; painted undersides of roof. 22 rooftop penthouses, with double height fully-glazed ends under rounded tops, given a distinctive white finish. The one-two pattern of the flats is explained by their being ‘L’-shaped and having a double aspect, each pair wrapped around a central glazed lightwell (glazing renewed with thicker sections and roof partly infilled in 1999- 2000) containing staircase and lift. Two-storey mews houses clad in glazed engineering brick set under podium, with south-facing patios incorporating ventilation holes to car park below.”