By Mental Gentle
We really enjoyed our photo walk to the Barbican Centre and Estate. There is much to see and do and we hope our photo walk conveys the real sense and feel of the Barbican. Afterwards, we stopped for a bite to eat at one of the funky restaurants; we ate on the terrace as the weather was sunny and watched the world go by.
The Barbican Centre is a modern performing arts centre in the City of London, surrounded by the old London Wall; the largest of its kind in Europe. Opened by the Queen in 1982, who declared it at the time ‘one of the modern wonders of the world,’ it is a collection of multi-purpose performing arts venues, hosting classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and art exhibitions, all housed within a network of brutalist buildings, passages and walkways. It is one of London’s most well known examples of Brutalist architecture, together with the Southbank Centre (seen on our last walk!). Since its opening, it has become one of London’s most important cultural venues, and it also sports a library, three restaurants, and a conservatory full of diverse plants and flowers.
The Centre’s Concert Hall is home to the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra whilst the Centre is now once again a London venue of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which returned to the theatre in 2013, after over a decade away.
The Barbican Estate houses over 4,000 residents as well as the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the City of London School for Girls, and the ancient church of St Giles-without-Cripplegate, making it a cultural quarter where everyone can experience world class culture and learning. Designed with wonderfully utopian vision by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, the Estate was built in an attempt to repopulate and regenerate the City, which had been left devastated by bombing during the Blitz of the Second World War. The diversity and energy of the area is testament to their achievement. Go check it out as it’s well worth a visit!