Flat Types in Speed House, Barbican Estate

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

Penthouse Flats

The penthouses come in three types. In the first type, the entrance is into a corridor which has the kitchen, WC and bathroom off it. There in one living room and one bedroom, both rectangular. They living room overlooks Speed Garden and the bedroom overlooks Silk Street. (Type 23). The second type, is more or less the same, give or take a bulge or two. It has a cupboard’s worth of extra space in the bedroom (Type 60). These are very similar to Types 20, 21 and 58 on the lower floors. The final type is quite different because it’s on the end of the building and has side windows available to it. As usual the bathroom and kitchen (no separate WC) start next to the entrance and run towards the back. As usual there is one decent bedroom at the back, and one decent room at the front, but this time it’s a bedroom not a living room, because the flat’s living room is a large area in front of the entrance. This does not fit the rectangular footprint of all the other flats, but is like an extension built on the side. (Type 86). All the penthouses are set back from the edges of the building so that they are not as long as the flats below. It seems to me that most of the flats should get plenty of afternoon sun in the living room windows.

Regular flats

A lift and a staircase serves a pair of flats on each floor, one on either side of the lift, so entrances to the block are at regular intervals along the podium, and in the car park. The flats are very similar. Each flat has a living area at the front, overlooking the gardens, and a bedroom at the back, overlooking Silk Street, with a corridor in between, off which you find the kitchen, the WC and the bathroom. The differences are in the shapes of the living and bedroom areas, which are dictated by the space taken by the lift shaft, emergency exits and stairs outside the flat. Some flats have a larger living room (more window) like an L-shape, with a smaller bedroom (Type 20 and Type 58). Some have a narrower living room, but one L-shaped bedroom (or two bedrooms in a squeeze) (Type 21). There are some larger flats at the end of the building. For these, the entrance is into a hall. Immediately  opposite, and in the middle of the flat, is a large reception area/study (taking advantage of the extra side of windows). On one side of the hall is a corridor off which are the WC, bathroom and then kitchen. The corridor ends in a dining area, with a bedroom off it, both with windows over Silk Street. On the other side of the entrance hall, you turn into the living room, with a bedroom off it, both with windows over Speed Garden. (Type 85).

Garden Flats

There are two-storey maisonettes below the podium mainly of Type 84. The flat’s entrance is in the upper level, off a central lift and entrance lobby. At the back, just inside the door, is the kitchen. At the front is the living area overlooking Speed Gardens. There is a spiral staircase to the lower level where there is a large bedroom looking south onto Speed Gardens, and a bathroom and a WC at the back, beyond the spiral staircase. In the ground in front of the garden windows are large oval ventilation grills of the sort which caused Marilyn Monroe such trouble. But they are surrounded by an attractive brick wall with rock plants so they are actually a plus.