The Barbican has always been a place I’ve found intriguing. A massive 60’s estate built in the heart of London in an attempt to ‘regenerate’ a city which had been devastated by the second world war and to provide housing to a population, many of whom were deemed to be living in slums. The estate has been described as ‘brutalist’ and you can see why, this place was built to be functional as were a number of other estates built in the same period at the behest of town planners. So for an outsider it might be difficult to understand what seems to be the appeal of a place which so thoroughly dominates such a large section of the city and which is now a Grade 2 listed complex.
Wandering around, things become a little clearer, the Barbican estate plays host to a renowned exhibition centre, the amazing Museum of London, a central plaza with some great water features, cafes and an area which looks like a mini Central park, a little green oasis in the middle of the estate. Looking up at the ‘brutalist’ towers many residents have created a living wall of hanging gardens draped over the balconies making quite a spectacle. There are so many complexes similar to the Barbican that have failed but despite everything, this place looks to have succeeded and has created its own unique mark on the city.