Blake Tower – the Barbican’s new tower block

Barbican residents will mostly be well aware that the Estate is being extended by the redevelopment of the former YMCA building on the corner of Fann Street and Aldersgate Street.  The official launch of the new development, to be called Blake Tower, took place at the end of May and now we have much more detail on the design, and what the new apartments will be put on the market for in terms of price.

External day

Blake Tower exterior

The development is being handled by Redrow London, and the approved plans involve the construction of 74 one, two and three bedroom apartments and studios within the shell of the original Chamberlin, Powell and Bon designed 17-storey residential block.  Like the rest of the estate Blake Tower is another fine example of Brutalist architecture – which some love and some hate – and is also Grade II listed which has limited the architects from doing much to the existing exterior apart from a sympathetic reworking and upgrading of the big window areas.  While it will be dwarfed by the three original Barbican residential towers, most of the flats will have some excellent views and should be a great addition to the Barbican Estate, which will manage the new development once it has been completed – scheduled to be in mid-2016

Altogether there will be two three-bed penthouses – which will be marketed at £3 million plus, four more 3 bed apartments, 23 two-beds, 391-beds and 6 studios.  Guide prices are from £650,000 up with the two and three beds expected to be in the £1 million plus bracket.

In keeping with the nomenclature of the existing Barbican residential blocks, the new tower block has been named after a celebrated former resident of the area.  In this case it is being named after William Blake, the iconic 18th Century poet and artist, whose grave is located in nearby Bunhill Fields.

Living

Computer generated image of living room area

The apartments at Blake Tower, according to Redrow London “epitomise the notion of mid-century Brutalism reimagined and have been thoughtfully designed to be in keeping with their historical surroundings.”

The apartments range in size from 450 square feet for the smaller studios to over 2,000 square feet and some will provide some spectacular views of London’s skyline with the London Eye and The Shard to the south, the rest of the Barbican estate and impressive new City buildings to the east and Wembley to the north.

Master Bedroom

Image of a master bedroom suite

Architects, Harper Downie are refurbishing the tower whilst retaining its striking form and iconic brutalist detailing, while the interiors have been conceived by architecture and interior design studio Conran and Partners.

While as noted above the brutalist concrete facade will effectively be maintained, the architects and designers are having to oversee the stripping out of the existing YMCA layout by removing and modifying non-structural partitions and laying out the new apartments with primarily open plan layouts considered desirable in modern day homes.  Open squares and new internal walls will then be constructed to create light and spacious living areas in the new apartments.

Redrow Homes will be opening a marketing suite in mid-September, complete with a mock up of a 2-bed apartment.  The suite will be located where the old BUPA Health offices used to be opposite John Trundle  Court in the Barbican complex just down the ramp from the Virgin Active upper level facilities.

So the Barbican is expanding once again.  Interest in the initial launch has been extremely strong to the extent a number of apartments have already been sold off-plan. Contact tina.evans@frankharris.co.uk for further information on Blake Tower apartment sales.