The Landscape Guide

The Barbican

A vast and ambitious development in the City of London. There are many exciting features including massed fountains, a cascade, roof gardens, trees growing on columns, great pools and a sitting area which is set below water level. However, many of the spaces are bleak and draughty. The development comprises tower blocks, a school, a major arts centre, part of London's Roman Wall and the restored St. Giles Church. Extensive pedestrian decks cover the parking areas and access roads. The scheme was designed by Chamberlain Powell and Bon in the 1950's and is now almost complete. Visitors joke that it is almost impossible to find one's way about. This has been countered by painting lines on the brick paviors. One can follow them, as Theseus did his unwound string. Access from London Wall (egress more difficult!).

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