The Barbican has announced that Philippa Simpson has been appointed its new director for buildings and renewal, and Beau Vigushin its new director for audiences. Both will join the London performing arts venue this spring.

In her new role, Simpson will have an extensive brief including overseeing the operations and facilities management of the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama (GSMD), as well as leading on the new plans for the Barbican Renewal Programme.

Simpson joins the Barbican from the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) where she currently sits on the executive board as director of design, estate and public programme, leading on major capital projects, exhibitions, heritage conservation and restoration works and design and brand initiatives. She started her career in the cultural sector as a curator at Tate before moving to Royal Museums Greenwich to run an international touring exhibition programme. During the past ten years she has delivered transformative projects at every scale, including the Exhibition Road Quarter, the new Photography Centre and most recently Young V&A in Bethnal Green.

In his new role as director for audiences, Vigushin will lead on all aspects of the Barbican’s audience experience, reinforcing and building relationships with current visitors and delegates, while developing strategies to attract new audiences.

Vigushin is the former executive director of customer experience at Arts Centre Melbourne. During this time, he led the end-to-end customer experience at the venue, where he focused on customer engagement, innovation, growth, service and communications, and also played a key role in the organisation’s pandemic response and building redevelopment.

Previously, Vigushin was a board member with Arts Access Victoria and was recently a board member with global arts and cultural technology organisation, Tessitura. Vigushin has over the last few months been supporting the transformation of the Arts & Culture Trust in Perth and will relocate to London for the new role.

Barbican CEO Claire Spencer said, ‘We’re thrilled Beau and Philippa are joining the Barbican Team. This is such an exciting time to join the Barbican as we deliver on ambitious plans to improve and transform our building, strengthen our relationships with audiences and visitors to ensure the Barbican becomes a place where everyone belongs, and evolve our culture to one which is truly equitable and inclusive.”

The latest additions to the Barbican’s senior team follow the appointment of Jackie Boughton as director of commercial in November 2023. The Barbican’s search for a new director for arts and Participation to lead its innovative arts and learning programme is ongoing.