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Robin Day was appointed Seating Design Consultant to the Barbican Centre in 1969. In this role he contributed to the development of one of London's most important architectural and cultural buildings until 1981, when he extensively revised the foyer seating system.

In 2005 and extensive programme of refurbishment at the Barbican saw Day's outdoor furniture range used to revitalise the Lakeside.

twentytwentyone Contracts supplied various seating ranges to internal and external areas of the Barbican.

The terrace seating is significant not only in its volume, but also in the complex and rigorous demands it posed in finding a relevant solution to the requirements presented by Barbican management.

The seating required needed to remain outside all year round, it needed to be robust and vandal resistant, it required a flexibility of formats and a table was required to marry with the seating.

The Robin Day Sussex bench fulfilled several of these requirements, but there was no armrest version and the table was simply a sketch on Robin’s drawing board. twentytwentyone worked closely with the Italian producers, Magis, and with Robin Day in the development of armrests for the benches to suit the requirements of public seating.

The Sussex table sped through prototyping and quickly became a permanent element in the Magis collection.

Drawing together Barbican and Magis, twentytwentyone engineered the selection of a uniquely colour Sussex bench to suit the sensitive landscape of the terrace area. Robin Day himself considered the spatial design and created a layout for the scheme. The project was installed on the 12th July 2005 and immediately met with the approval of Barbican users.

twentytwentyone are delighted to have nominated and supplied 52 benches and 16 tables to such a historically important building. It is an additional honour to have been inspired by the designs of Robin Day and to have worked so closely with such a progressive manufacturer as Magis in order to provide seating for subsequent generations of Barbican vistors.

Barbican Centre

Products used in this project