Frobisher Crescent



Frobisher Crescent.JPG


This is the Grade II listed Frobisher Crescent office complex right in the heart of the Barbican. It’s big, but you could drive past it everyday without knowing it was there. In fact there’s only one limited view of it from the outside, on the left as you enter the eastern end of the Barbican tunnel just after Silk Street. But if you think spotting it is hard, getting to the building itself is a world of pain. There are, apparently, 36 different routes to the main courtyard, less than 20 meters away from Silk Street, it took me 15 minutes.


The courtyard or The Sculpture Court as it was originally known has no sculptures in it, a story that is echoed throughout the development. Let me explain. Erected in 1982, this nine storey crescent was originally designed to be residential, three rows of maisonettes on six storeys. It almost happened; they even ordered the kitchen units, which remain in storage to this day. But for some reason the building was never used as intended, instead its lower floors became home to the Barbican’s Arts Centre admin department while the City of London Business School occupied the upper 3 floors. And there the story would have ended if it wasn’t for the fact that a few years ago the Business School left the building and moved to their swanky new premises on Bunhill Row just down the road. The upper 3 floors have been vacant ever since.


However in July of this year things came around full circle when United House was granted planning permission to convert the 68,513 sq ft offices to 69 residential flats…all they’ve got to worry about now is where they stored those kitchens.


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