Barking Learning Centre

Essex, Barking. 2007

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2007
  • Cost: £38 Million

In reinventing an aging public library into a modern social hub below six floors of new housing, Barking Learning Centre plays a key role in the urban regeneration of Barking’s town centre. This mixed-use building – the first phase of Barking Central – is composed of distinct segments; a U-shaped block of apartments perches atop a colonnade of v-shaped props, which lines the two-storey ‘plinth’ occupied by the Learning Centre. The plinth extends in a west wing containing a small gallery and classrooms, and defining the southern edge of the new Town Square, into which the Learning Centre’s new uses spill. On its exterior, the building derives its identity from patterns: repeating balconies animate the residential façades with colour and depth while the library’s mosaic skin of aluminium and glazed panels loosely wraps the existing structure to create new double-height interstitial spaces for entry, exhibition and repose. The ground floor’s informal layout encourages diverse use by the community, while the 246 one and two bedroom apartments above bring activity to the area across all hours.


British Construction Industry Awards: Local Authority Award 2008 European Prize for Public Urban Space 2008 MIPIM Best Mixed Use Award 2007

Related Projects

Client: Redrow Regeneration (Barking) Ltd & London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects

Project Manager: Gill Associates

Quantity Surveyor: Nigel Rose LLP

Structural / Civil Engineer: Buro Happold Ltd

Services Engineer: Faber Maunsell

Landscape Architect: Grant Associates

Public Realm Architect: muf architecture / art

Fire Consultant: Buro Happold Ltd (Fedra)

Accessibility Consultant: Buro Happold Ltd

Highways Consultant: Buro Happold Ltd

Acoustic Consultant: Bickerdike Allen Partners

Planning Consultant: Hepher Dixon (246 scheme) and Robson Planning Consultancy (up to 206 scheme)

Planning Supervisor: Tweeds Project Services

Approved Inspector: NHBC

Main Contractor: Ardmore Construction Ltd

Graphic Design: Studio Myerscough


M Price Ltd (BLC Cladding & Glazing)

Cladding UK (Residential cladding)


Leiab ( Resi Windows)

Schüco (BLC Cladding) Quinze & Milan / SCP and Vitra (BLC Furniture) BLC

Stakeholders: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Barking College and University of East London 

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