The Barbican: An Oasis in the City

While Sophia and I headed off to Brit Mums Live! on Saturday, Lara and Steve spent the day in and around the Barbican.  If you haven't been before, I highly recommend it, not solely for the amazing arts and cultural events, but just for a bit of a breather from city life.  Make sure you go at the weekend too - £7.50 for a whole day's parking, a bit of a London bargain!

Built in the 1960s and '70s, the Barbican is a classic example of what became known less than flatteringly as the Brutalist architectural style.  It is such a fantastic example in fact, that it is Grade II listed and there are strict restrictions on what residents can and can't do to their homes.  But the most amazing thing abut it is that this was a residential living experiment which worked.

Unlike the near-ghettos that many 1960s-built city blocks and estates, rife with malcontents of all ages and races, from Glasgow to Liverpool and Leeds to Southampton, became, for some reason the Barbican worked.  And still does.  It is a lovely, quiet place to be, full of nature and life of all species, and a genuine oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city which surrounds it.  Why it worked where so many others failed so very miserably, I don;t know.  Perhaps it is due to its location, or the people who lived there, but for whatever reason it survived and prospered, and to me is quite beautiful in its own unique, brutal, way.

Lara had a lovely time with Daddy, wandering around in the sunshine and playing.


She loved all the fountains and water, and was delighted to see a family of moorhens had set up home there.


Lara was also fascinated by the large shoals of golden orange fish, and wondered if they might like some grass to eat!


Lara had a great time in and around the Barbican, and had lots to tell Sophia and I when we met up with them at lunchtime.  But most of all she just wanted to smother 'Phia' in kisses and have some milk to reconnect with me, before starting her afternoon adventures with Daddy.  All in all, including her lovely gifts from Lego Duplo, Warner Bros and Disney, it was a great day!


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