London Wall West Consulation

Proposals  for London Wall West – make your views known by 31 December 2021

London Wall West is the area  which currently houses  Bastion House, a 1970s office building, and the Museum of London, which will be moving to Smithfield Market.

Following the decision not to proceed with the Centre for Music, the City of London  Corporation has produced early proposals on how the site might be developed. These proposals can be found on the website

The Barbican Association (BA) has already questioned the need to demolish rather than refurbish the existing buildings; how the decision is consistent with the City’s climate action strategy ; and whether there is demand for a further large office-led development. We shall continue to make these arguments. However  we are where, we are. It is  vital that residents comment on the proposals at this  stage as we seek  to make changes before they go before the Planning Committee in  Spring 2022.

The BA is strongly opposed to  the excessive height and scale  of the three new buildings. Building 1 on the Bastion House site would, at 17 floors, be three floors higher than the existing building with a much larger footprint. Building 2 on the rotunda, at 14 floors, would be more than double the height of buildings  on Aldersgate Street to the immediate  south. We estimate that the square footage of the new buildings is  at least four times larger than the existing ones, all designated for office use. The arguments we urge residents to consider when responding are:

The  proposals pay scant regard to the nature of the Barbican Estate and its residential community, including other residents in the immediate vicinity.

The  proposed  buildings are significantly larger in height and scale than both the existing buildings and also those towards St. Martins-Le-Grand. They  appear to project further to the north and south  of the existing Bastion House, negatively affecting Monkwell Square, the existing public gardens and the historic London Wall.

The   proposals are at odds with the conservation area status and open spaces, heritage, and architecture of the Barbican. In particular, the new buildings will completely fill the view north from St. Martins-Le-Grand blocking current views of a Barbican Tower against the skyline.

They will detrimentally affect access to day- and sun-light of those living nearby and add significantly to light pollution.

The public realm and community aspects of the proposals raise issues of  footfall , noise, security, maintenance, and existing access by vehicles. We are concerned that the lives of residents throughout the Estate could be severely affected.

Please make your views known through the website,  and also by emailing  at , or phoning on 0800 082 0464 .

Remember the consultation closes on 31 December 2021

Results of the Poll on the Future of Bastion House and the Museum of London

Should the Barbican Association consider mounting a campaign to persuade the Corporation to carry out a proper study into repurposing the buildings as an alternative to demolition?

Yes 387 votes 88.15%

No 52 votes 11.85%

439 total votes

Our thanks to all who participated

The BA has written to Andrien Meyers the Chair of the Property Investment Board requesting a meeting.

We have been led to believe that the City has carried out a review which justifies its proposal to demolish rather than refurbish and have requested that he share it with us. We have also asked him confirm that a proper assessment of the embodied carbon in the existing and any proposed future building is being undertaken.

Final chance to vote on the future of Bastion House and the Museum of London site

Since the beginning of August the Barbican Association has been trying to find out whether residents would be in favour of a campaign to challenge the City of London’s plans to demolish Bastion House and the Museum of London.

We have a poll here on the website which closes on Monday 23rd August so you if you haven’t shared your opinion, please do so in the next few days.

Please note, we have had some reports of people being unable to vote in this poll and instead receiving an error message. Unfortunatley, this problem is unlikley to be solved before the 23rd. However, it appears to be an issue only in some browsers.

So if you haven’t voted yet and find that you receive an error message when you do, if possible please try a different browser. Both Chrome and Safari browsers seem to work with no problems.

Reminder to vote!

You have until 23rd August to vote in the poll to let the Barbican Association know whether or not you are in favour of a campaign to challenge the City Corporation’s planned demolition of Bastion House and the Museum of London.

At the time of writing, 240 people have voted, with over 200 in favour of a campaign.

Bastion House and the Museum of London

By now you should have received the latest Barbican Association Newsletter (also available to read here), in which Adam Hogg, Chair of the BA, discusses the future of the Museum of London and Bastion House.

If you live on the Barbican estate, the BA would be interested to know whether you think there should be a campaign to challenge the City Corporation’s planned demolition of these buildings.

Consultation on the Redevelopment of the Museum of London Site

Future Development of Bastion House and the Museum of London.

We need your support.

I am sure that you are aware that a new larger Museum of London is being built in West Smithfield and that it had been intended to use its present site for the Centre for Music a new home for the LSO promoted by Sir Simon Rattle. This plan was recently scrapped and the Corporation will be seeking planning permission to demolish the current building to enable redevelopment of the site, now known as London Wall West.

The Barbican Association is concerned that there should be a real debate as to how the site might best meet the needs of the City of London now and well into the future.

Along with the Golden Lane Residents’ Association we sent an open letter to the Corporation requesting such a discussion.

I think the City is listening. We have received the following from them.

“We want to understand what the Barbican Association and Barbican residents, as key stakeholders, would like to see on the site. Our aim is to be genuinely inclusive and collaborative in our consultation, and to create a set of proposals for London Wall West that benefit both the local and wider community.

Starting this month and working with the Contemporary Art Society Consultancy (CASC), we will explore ideas for placemaking with local residents, key community and cultural organisations, local residents and business groups. Taking account of the site’s history and heritage as well as its location at the heart of Culture Mile, CASC will seek ideas on opportunities for cultural, commercial and public uses on London Wall West. 

Peppermint Research, a market research company, will then consult residents, workers, visitors and other groups on additional potential uses on this site, including environmental initiatives, education, public spaces for relaxing and play, offices and retail.

The feedback from this early engagement will inform the development of the designs for London Wall West. Later in the year we’ll consult both the local and wider community about these emerging designs to gain further feedback, before a final round of consultation on detailed designs in the new year. We intend to submit a planning application in 2022.”

The site, adjacent to two conservation areas, Smithfield and Barbican Golden Lane, deserves respect and imagination. We are submitting a postscript to our Open Letter which, we hope will draw attention to its importance and the opportunity to produce another development worth conserving as follows.

“In the past the Corporation of London has made inspired decisions in reaction to catastrophe.

In 1688 Christopher Wren was appointed to rebuild the City following the Fire of London. In the early 1950’s Chamberlain Powell and Bon were commissioned to design the Barbican estate following the area’s destruction in the Blitz.

Today the City has a similar opportunity to set its stamp on the 21st Century.

Brexit, Coronavirus, Climate Change and the Digital Revolution arriving at the same time will have a profound effect on the way of life in the City of London. Rather than carrying on as before the Corporation should pause and take stock.

The north west corner of the city which includes the Smithfield and the Barbican and Golden Lane Conservation Areas presents such an opportunity following the decisions to move the Market, build a new Museum of London, set up the Culture Mile and to scrap the plans for a Centre for Music.

The future of this area, rich in history, with a mix of housing, education, health, culture and hospitality as well as small scale commercial developments will benefit from enlightened thought.

Given the international significance of these conservation areas, the City needs to bring together all the different interest groups in an inclusive, forward-looking process to create a proper Blueprint; rather than simply looking at the opportunities offered by the London Wall West site following the vacation of the Museum and Bastion House.

Our ancestors left legacies of which we can be proud. We have an opportunity to leave another monument for future generations please don’t miss it.” 

We hope you can support the need for a proper debate on the future of the site as expressed in our Open letter. 

We want to know what you think. We are asking House Groups to consult. You can express your views through them or leave a message below in the comments and we will make sure that these are noted in the consultation process ahead.

And when invited please contribute to the City’s consultation.

The strong campaign on the Girls School bore fruit. Can we do it again? 

Adam Hogg     

Chair, Barbican Association