Barbican Penthouse Over the City / Edition 1

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Penthouse Over the City sheds light on one of the most ambitious, and controversial, architectural undertakings of the last century; the Barbican Estate.

This leviathan project, with its futuristic vision and Byzantine intricacy included, in its final incarnation, the highest apartments in Europe, an underground railway and an arts centre composed of a theatre, concert hall, art galleries, cinemas and a library.

Its grand-scale conception included elements drawn from the rustication of Florentine palaces, the water and walkways of Venice, the elegant squares of Georgian London and the high-rise designs of the U.S.

Today, the cultural and architectural communities are re-assessing the site's significance in light of the achievement it represents. To its residents, Barbican living is an addiction. Its story spans decades or changing ideologies and tastes, and this book tells its full story for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…a timely revisiting of a building the complexity ofwhich we are only just starting to appreciate…”(Building Design, July 04)

“…first complete story of the BarbicanEstate…provides in-depth design info as well as a widerhistorical overview…” (FX Magazine, August 2004)

“…a fascinating study…” (ArchitectsJournal, September 04)

“…packed with pictures, plans, models and discreettype telling the complicated tale of a landmark project’spost-war inception and influences” (Civic Focus, No. 47Summer 2004)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470851432
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 9.66 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

David Heathcote is a design writer and architecturalhistorian. In 2002 he curated the 'Barbican: This was Tomorrow'exhibition at the Barbican. He is currently working on a book aboutthe 1970s house.

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Table of Contents



London Replanned.

Reconstruction Plans Challenged.


First Plans for the Barbican – Catalyst and Reaction.

CP&B Plan for the Barbican Site.

CP&B 1956 Plan.

After 1956 and Before 1959.


The 1959 Plan and Later Changes.

The 1959 Arts Centre.

Modernism, Historicism and the Architects' Practice.

The Arts Centre.






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