The Barbican Centre – Volker Laser

The Barbican Centre


City of London

Volker Laser

The Challenge
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, to maintain the quality of the surroundings required a continuous programme of maintenance and replacement.

The Solution
Tendered on a design and build basis, VolkerLaser were appointed as principal contractor in order to extend the life of the structure and protection of 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. Works were designed with the premise of halting the ingress of water, which was affecting the neighbouring health club and other occupants of the Trade Centre premises.

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 our 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.

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 high standard of workmanship that our clients expect.

VolkerLaser developed a stakeholder management strategy as well as a weekly progress report for the benefit of stakeholders that was completed to the approval of the City of London. This was essential in order to maintain strong communication links with all parties and therefore ensuring continuity of the work and to a scheduled programme.

Extensive pedestrian management was undertaken in order to maintain public access whilst sustaining the continued amenity and safety of surrounding commercial and residential occupants. VolkerLaser ensured that suitable access to doorways to all properties was preserved, and any planned work adjacent to these had to be completed at weekends.

The Benefits
Overcoming the challenges the project has presented in a professional manner, VolkerLaser have 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.

Barbican 15 Volker Laser (853x1280)