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The Barbican's Brutalist Architecture Just Became A Video Game Level

Edward Mascarenhas' "Barbecana" transforms the Barbican Estate's iconic walkways and corridors into a gaming environment equipped with augmented reality objects.

London's Barbican Estate houses (or is adjacent to) the Barbican Arts Centre, a public library, museums, and more. Since it opened, the sprawling space has been an integral part in establishing the Barbican as a cultural epicenter of various creative disciplines, and now it's entering the realm of gaming… sort of. One student at the Bartlett School of Architecture has transformed the space into a proposed augmented reality video game, including a video that showcases the Estate embedded with a virtual gaming environment.


Edward Mascarenhas' thesis project, titled Barbecana, imagines the brutalist architecture that characterizes the Barbican filled with digital obstacles, changing environments, and other augmented reality objects. In the "game," players would collect the objects to build structures and make the Barbican even grander.

"It is a very unique space which is completely under-valued and is suited to be re-appropriated without physically transforming it," the budding designer told Dezeen in an interview.

He continued:

"This is the essence of the project, the ability for augmented reality to be more then a simple graphical overlay, to speculate on how such technologies could be used to radically transform the atmosphere of the built environment without physically altering the space."

Though the video game is just a proposal, Mascarenhas' idea to morph the iconic space into a multiplayer gaming zone that utilizes the Estate's twisting corridors and walkways sounds incredible. We'd like to see more designers use legendary architecture and design as the foundation of game design. We're not sure what a "boss" would look like in Barbecana, but we can imagine that there'd be a few awesome historical easter eggs sprinkled throughout.

h/t Dezeen


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