In 1951 the City of London Corporation

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In 1951 the City of London Corporation held a design competition for the building of a new community in the boundary area of central London.Geoffry Powell won this competition along with two other teachers from Kingston Peter Chamberlin and Christof Bon, who formed a partnership to execute the design.

The competition received a lot of notoriety partly because of the emphasis on designing a big new residential project, mainly because this event marked the arrival of the planning ideas of Le Corbusier in England. This new project was called Barbican and sited on 42 acres of land. By that time the brutalist architecture HAD flourished in England, which originated from the modernist architectural movement. A typical example of this movement could be the Barbican complex, because it was a part of those buildings which were linear, fortress-like and blockish, often with a predominance of concrete construction. The Estate was a concrete mega structure, which did not appel to many people, as well as the style in which it had been built. That is why the complex gained its notoriety from.Barbican was built on a post-Second War blitzed wasteland by the architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, as I already mentioned.

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It is a masterpiece of asymmetrical, formal planning, built in reinforced concrete and hammered granite. Many may not see the beauty of its construction and open spaces, but it should receive acknowledgement, as it was constructed in difficult times with the purpose to re-populate the central part of London. The history of the complex is very interesting still. Planning began in 1956, but the actual work on it did not start until 1963 and it was finally finished in 1981.

The building of the complex may have not been fast but the results are quite fascinating, from my point of view. As overall it is not the most interesting and good looking place, but it has got quite interesting interiors which I will mention in short.The Barb…


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