The Barbican


Two weeks ago the class and I visited the Barbican Centre and had a look around. As soon as I walked out of Barbican station I was met by huge towering structures everywhere I looked, cold concrete buildings. Once everyone had arrived we started walking towards the Barbican Centre and soon reached the entrance. When we were inside I was really overwhelmed by the vast open spaces and how much there was in there to do. The Barbican is a performing arts centre that has exhibitions, cinemas, theatres, living space, a church, a library, a school, bars, restaurant and lots more.

The church is one thing that stood out for me, it was outside in the middle of this concrete complex. It is called St Giles Cripplegate and is actually one of the few remaining medieval churches still standing in the country and it is believed that a church has been on that spot of land for over 1000 years. After yesterdays lesson where we spoke about space, time and memory this tiny traditional church was what I thought of, the idea of old and new buildings as layers of history in the city. Juhani Pallasmaa said ‘human constructions also have task of preserving the past, enabling us to experience and grasp the continuum of culture and tradition’ (Pallasmaa 2009, p. 17) and that church really made me think about its origins because of its diverse look from the Barbican, knowing that it definitely wasn’t built with the giant surrounding structures.

I found this very interesting and really enjoyed learning about this as it is something I have thought and seen in my eyes walking through London as well as other cities and countries I have been to. Observing my surroundings, I always notice old and new buildings fusing together in the city or wherever it may be.



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