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HomeCase studiesThe Barbican Centre

The Barbican Centre


Delivering refurbishment works to Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue, VolkerLaser has ensured that future generations are able to enjoy this significant architectural achievement of the 20th century.

Key services provided

  • Waterproofing
  • Tiles and Screed
  • Insulation
  • Structural Movement Joints

The Barbican Estate is a unique architectural gem within the City of London, constructed between 1969 and 1980 after bombing damaged the city during the Second World War. The network of pedestrian precincts contains the world-renowned Arts Centre, residential towers and blocks, a school, a music college, various commercial premises, gardens and lakes. Listed as Grade II in 2001 in order to maintain the quality of the surroundings, a continuous programme of maintenance and replacement is required.

VolkerLaser was appointed to the project, as principal contractors, in order to extend the life of the structure and protect this iconic cultural landmark. The project consisted of the application of a Triflex fully fleeced waterproofing system to the existing asphalt membrane of a large podium, located within the centre of a residential area. The contract also included the refurbishment of hard landscaping, involving the removal and replacement of screed and tiles, and the installation of new structural movement joints.

The project entailed minimal use of subcontractors, providing VolkerLaser greater flexibility and control when managing the works. A logistically challenging project, the scheme was an exercise in working under tight constraints of space, noise reduction, working hours and listed building requirements, all of which VolkerLaser adhered to with the highest standard of workmanship that our clients expect. In order to maintain strong communication links with all stakeholders, a stakeholder management strategy was developed, as well as providing a weekly progress report approved by the City of London.

Always conscious of the effect of our works, on a number of occasions VolkerLaser had to divert from the original design brief, for the benefit of the local community. VolkerLaser worked closely with the City of London and its residents, in order to agree convenient times to carry out certain disruptive elements of work. It was identified that the use of hot bitumen would have been disruptive due to its pungency - to remedy this, VolkerLaser explored and proposed an alternative product. Keen to reduce the impact of additional works, one of VolkerLaser’s value engineering solutions was to retain all planter bed haunchings, saving the City of London in excess of £50,000, and eliminating a substantial amount of disruption caused by noise, dust and vibration to local residents.

Overcoming the challenges the project has presented in a professional manner, VolkerLaser has completed all works to a very high standard, and to the great satisfaction of the client. VolkerLaser believe that the standard of workmanship achieved throughout the project has set the bar for future phases of works at the Barbican to be completed in years to come.

Facts and figures

  • Client
    City of London
  • Value
    £3.7 million
  • Duration
    32 weeks
  • Project categories

Learn more about this project?

Contact enquiries@volkerlaser.co.uk »

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