Shelving fit for a design classic

A giant shelving unit that flows across the entire wall of a London apartment pays homage to the architecture of the Grade-II listed Barbican Centre.

Our work takes us to some special places, none more so than the award-winning Barbican Centre in the City of London. For those interested in architecture and building design, the Grade II-listed Barbican is an exceptional development – regarded as one of the finest examples of Brutalist architecture in Europe. Conceived as part of the post-war rebuilding process and completed in 1982, this immense concrete complex is home to an internationally-renowned music and arts auditorium, as well as 2,000 flats and apartments.

Paying homage to the architecture

We were commissioned by the owner of one of these flats to design and create a giant shelving unit that would stretch across the entire length and height of one wall of the apartment. In addition, we were tasked with ensuring the piece reflected the Barbican’s architecture and the mid-20th century style of furniture and interior décor that still exists in many of the homes there. It was for this reason that American walnut was chosen for the project – a dark hardwood that mirrors the wood used for the staircase and flooring within the apartment. The back panel spaces of the unit were off-white to match the ceiling and walls.

One continuous, fluid shelving unit

A key element of the design was the creation of one continuous, fluid shelving unit that flows flawlessly from the bar/kitchen area downstairs to subtly become a TV and media centre upstairs. Working closely with the clients, some of the shelves were designed to house specific pieces of artwork, while others incorporated lighting and private storage spaces. Some of the shelving spaces under the stairs featured a diagonal creating a number of stylish wine racks.

The end result was spectacular – a stunning feature that was made to measure and one that perfectly complements the style and vibe of one of London’s best-known buildings.


If you would like to discuss a project, please contact us on 0208 993 4666 or