For these four last years, I went four times in London and each time I can’t help going to Barbican which still amazes me. In my opinion, it is one of the rare modern urban experimentation that really proposes an interesting and efficient alternative to the traditional way of designing the city. Residential, Culture and Leisure are mixed in a very clever way, and although there are still very large resulting spaces, you don’t feel like they embody a waste of land. Barbican is also a kind of maze for the visitor which can cross it in a lot of directions and appreciate each one of them.
History: Barbican Estate
was built between 1965 and 1976 on a site which has been bombed during World War II (140 000 m²). Its architects were Peter Chamberlin, Geoffry Powell and Christoph Bon whose work is now Listed Buildings. It has been designed to supply a home to 4 000 people (2000 flats)
Barbican Centre though was built long after Barbican Estate. It is only in 1982 that the City of London Corporation decided to build the largest performing Arts Centre in Europe. In fact, Barbican Centre is composed by a 2000 seat concert hall (home of London Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra), a 1100 seat theatre, another flexible 200 seat theatre venue, an art gallery, a cinema, a conservatory, three restaurants and seven conference facilities.