The Barbican Conservatory sign and entrance

The Barbican: Brutal Beauty

Built as part of an idealist vision to transform part of post-war London, The Barbican is a brilliant place to get lost in.

CATEGORY: Architecture

The Barbican: Brutal Beauty

Built as part of an idealist vision to transform part of post-war London, The Barbican is a brilliant place to get lost in.

CATEGORY: Architecture

The Barbican: Brutal Beauty

Built as part of an idealist vision to transform part of post-war London, The Barbican is a brilliant place to get lost in.

CATEGORY: Architecture

The Barbican: Brutal Beauty

Built as part of an idealist vision to transform part of post-war London, The Barbican is a brilliant place to get lost in.

CATEGORY: Architecture

The Barbican: Brutal Beauty

Built as part of an idealist vision to transform part of post-war London, The Barbican is a brilliant place to get lost in.

CATEGORY: Architecture

A sprawling Brutalist estate, where you can wander through an otherworldly glasshouse, go to soft play at Squish Space with the little ones, or see some of London's most exciting contemporary art at The Curve Gallery—Francis Upritchard is exhibiting there until January '19 in case you need another reason—The Barbican is one of the best places to potter in London. If you enjoy a quiet space, you can pad around the softly-lit arts centre, or get lost amongst the concrete and floating gardens.

Conceived as a utopian new beginning for an area decimated by WW2 German bombers, the centre was designed by the architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and took over a decade to build, opening in 1982. Heavily influenced by Le Corbusier and his penchant for 'béton brut' (raw concrete) and exposed structures, the firm came to the Barbican site fresh from completing the Golden Lane Estate in Shoreditch.

The original visual language was designed by Ken Briggs (who oversaw the superb National Theatre brand) and was updated in 2013 by the agency North, bringing together a smart and playful system that can stand beside an architectural giant.

*If a Barbican flat is out of the question and you have a permanent address, you can become a member of the library for free.

A sprawling Brutalist estate, where you can wander through an otherworldly glasshouse, go to soft play at Squish Space with the little ones, or see some of London's most exciting contemporary art at The Curve Gallery—Francis Upritchard is exhibiting there until January '19 in case you need another reason—The Barbican is one of the best places to potter in London. If you enjoy a quiet space, you can pad around the softly-lit arts centre, or get lost amongst the concrete and floating gardens.

Conceived as a utopian new beginning for an area decimated by WW2 German bombers, the centre was designed by the architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and took over a decade to build, opening in 1982. Heavily influenced by Le Corbusier and his penchant for 'béton brut' (raw concrete) and exposed structures, the firm came to the Barbican site fresh from completing the Golden Lane Estate in Shoreditch.

The original visual language was designed by Ken Briggs (who oversaw the superb National Theatre brand) and was updated in 2013 by the agency North, bringing together a smart and playful system that can stand beside an architectural giant.

*If a Barbican flat is out of the question and you have a permanent address, you can become a member of the library for free.

Barbican Music Library Sign

Photograph by Philippa Thomas - @lostandffound

barbican-wayfinding

Lift signage in the arts centre

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Wetwang Slack, an exhibition at The Barbican by Francis Upritchard - photo by Angus Mill