Thomas More House
Barbican, London EC2


Architect: Chamberlin, Powell & Bon

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This immaculate, one-bedroom ‘type 20′ apartment is positioned on the third floor of Thomas More House. Completed in 1973, this is the first time the apartment has been on the market. It retains many of its original features and has wonderful views over Thomas More gardens.

Internally, accommodation is configured between two balconies. The south-facing balcony runs the width of the living room and study looking out over the city. The other faces north and is accessed via the bedroom; it looks over Thomas More Gardens, the largest and most leafy of the Barbican’s communal spaces.

Most of the apartment’s original features have been lovingly preserved, including an original kitchen with linear hobs, and original switches and fittings. There is also an original bathroom and WC with Barbican sink and lights. A sliding partition can be you used to separate the study from the living quarters. Modern additions have been sensitively applied and include a beautiful set of Interlübke storage units in the hall and wardrobes in the bedroom.

Running along the south of the residents’ garden, with the eastern end abutting Mountjoy House, Thomas More has seven storeys of apartments above podium level and three below. The Barbican Estate is the finest achievement of the architects Chamberlin, Powell & Bon. It was Grade II-listed in 2001 in recognition of its extraordinary contribution to London’s urban landscape. All residents have access to communal gardens throughout the development. Ben Jonson House is a seven-storey terrace block on the north podium of the estate.

The Underground stations of Barbican (Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan Lines) and Moorgate (Northern, Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan Lines) are both within easy reach. Moorgate also offers National Rail services. The flat is well positioned for access to the Barbican Arts Centre, Smithfield Market, and the bars and restaurants of Clerkenwell. There is a Waitrose supermarket on Whitecross Street, and One New Change is just a short walk away, with cafés, restaurants and flagship fashion stores.

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease Length: approx. 87 years 
Service Charge: approx. £4,000 per annum
Ground Rent: approx. £10 per annum

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


The Barbican Estate has become an iconic example of Brutalism in London and its important ambition in scale and cohesion was recognised in 2001 when the complex was Grade II Listed. The estate was built on a 35-acre site that was razed in one night of bombings at the height of the Second World War in 1940. The area was known as ‘Barbican’ which derives from a Middle English word for fortification, in reference to the remains of the Roman city limit walls still standing.

By 1951 the City of London’s population had dwindled to little over 5000, and the City of London Corporation sought to revive the area as a place for people to live, rather than be solely a commercial area. The town and Country Planning Act of 1947 made it possible for local authorities to develop large areas, recognising the need for comprehensive post-war planning. In response to this, and following the success of the nearby Golden lane Estate which they built after winning a competition to regenerate an area similarly devastated by bombing, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon were commissioned to build a large-scale residential area. It took 30 years from the earliest discussions of its creation for the final element  of The Barbican – the Arts Centre – to be completed. It was opened by The Queen in 1982 who described it as ‘one of the modern wonders of the world’.

The young architects were inspired by Le Corbusier’s recently completed Unite d’Habitation in Marseilles, and envisioned The Barbican as an urban microcosm with residential blocks arranged around communal spaces. The lakes, gardens and changing levels devised as part of the plans allow residents a sense of peaceful seclusion. An essential component of this is the two systems of pedestrian circulation that link the tower blocks, terrace bocks, mews and townhouses, allowing road and rail traffic to pass unnoticed by residents. The buildings’ design required specialist engineering, overseen by Ove Arup & Partners. For example, the distinctive cantilevered balconies on the towers reduce wind resistance, and the nearby tube was quietened using rubber mounted tracks.

There are 140 types of apartment in the Barbican, each tailored using the same vernacular and quality, to suit the needs of the intended residents. All of the blocks were designed and angled to allow the maxim amount of sunlight into living spaces. Thomas More House runs on an east-west axis, and sits between luscious private gardens and the sports grounds. It is unified with the other terrace blocks by the ubiquitous strata of balconies that are adorned with planters and flowers.

The Barbican occupies an unparalleled position in position in the history of post war housing, where an avant-garde brutalist sensibility was applied to quality-driven dense inner-city housing. Chamberlin, Powell and Bon combined functionalist ergonomics with aesthetic precision in every element of the estate’s design, creating spaces of living that have an enduring desirability.

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