Barbican at night
Getting lost in the concrete jungle
(Photos/words © urban75, 13th January 2007)
The Barbican sits on the site of the northern edge of the old Roman city, Londinium.
With the area flattened during the 1939-45, the City of London Corporation and the City grew concerned by the dwindling number of residents
living within the Square Mile, and sought to create a large residential complex on the site.
Covering 40 acres and opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1982, the Barbican now hosts the largest multi-arts and conference venue in Europe and 2,014 residential flats.
It's certainly not pretty to look at though - Forbes.com described it as one of the 'World's ugliest buildings,' and in 2003 the Barbican Centre topped a poll of ugly buildings in London BBC article
The various blocks are all linked by aerial pedestrian walkways affording, er, great views like this.
Another view from a walkway.
The Barbican's signage is chaotic and frustrating.
Signs listing the names of tower blocks appear on walkways only to disappear 200m later.
How's this for a user-friendly sign?!
Grey concrete is everywhere.
Dark alleyways abound. Finding your way around is like walking around a computer game.
Looking like an Eastern European hotel corridor, these are the entrances to flats.
The area around the Barbican is almost totally deserted at night, and we passed lots of big offices with just a solitary bored security guard sat in a huge atrium.
Passing a deserted, mall-like arcade.
Another, near-identical office entrance. Look carefully and you can see a sole figure right at the end!
Rather over-the-top entrance.
Nearing Moorgate tube and a swift journey back to the busy, lively streets of Brixton!