Proposals to transform 1950s office building embedded within the brutalist complex

AHMM has submitted plans to transform a 1950s office building into a residential scheme inspired by the Barbican estate.

The proposals for 45 Beech Street, drawn up for developer HUB and Bridges Fund Management, would include 174 co-living apartments and ground floor commercial space.

The eight-storey existing building fronts onto the Barbican tunnel and is almost entirely enveloped by the complex, emerging through an indent punched into the estate’s ‘ziggurat’.

Under AHMM’s plans for the site, round arched roof forms would be added to the building to reference the ubiquitous rounded arches which characterise the Barbican.

AHMM director Hazel Joseph said the architectural approach had been carefully considered to respond sensitively to the “much-loved Barbican context”, completing the northern frontage of the estate. 

“The existing structure of 45 Beech Street will be re-used and extended, creating a new residential community with shared amenities and breathing new life into the local streetscape,” she said.

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HUB senior development manager Tom Stoneham added the scheme will seek to continue the Barbican’s legacy and provide a new kind of residential offering for the area with its co-living flats.

45 Beech St 5

The existing building as viewed from an opening in the Barbican tunnel

“Our proposals would reinvigorate an existing building at risk of becoming a stranded asset, demonstrating the potential for new models like co-living to not only bring new homes to city centres, but also to minimise carbon emissions by giving new life to tired office buildings,” he said.

Established in 2012, HUB describes itself as a progressive developer of “creative living spaces”, specialising in build-to-rent schemes.

It has 5,500 homes completed or under construction across the UK, with ongoing projects including 951 homes in Leeds and another co-living scheme in Hammersmith and Fulham in partnership with Women’s Pioneer Housing.