Tag Archives: Brutalism

Friday Bench: Repetition

Benches at The Barbican

The Barbican does a nice line in bench repetition whether they’re outside like these, or inside like the ones I found in the Arts Centre previously.

I finally managed to find the site of Nigel Dunnett’s reworking of one The Barbican’s open spaces yesterday* and found this view looking back towards that area from where the ramp up from Bridgewater Street emerges from the road below.

It’s too early to feature the planting in detail, but I saw enough to get excited about a repeat visit later this year.

More benches: from within Nigel Dunnett’s planting scheme at Beech Gardens this time

* = it’s taken me a couple of attempts to get there. Either turn left as you come out of The Barbican underground station and up the staircase immediately at the side of the station.

Or head across the road in front of the station via the pedestrian crossing, up Beech Street on the left hand side (through the tunnelly bit) and take the first turn on your left which is an actual road.

Continue past the Exhibition Hall entrance until you find a ramp on your left which takes you onto the Barbican’s housing complex and the Beech Gardens area.

The Menacing Sparkle of The City

A mixture of old and new

This picture may look a bit of a jumble but it fascinates me. I’m standing in London’s East End – Petticoat Lane, site of the famous market to be exact – looking towards The City. To the right are Georgian buildings from the late 1700s/early 1800s. Ahead is the brutalist architecture of 1950s/60s-something social housing with something of a similar nature to the left. And behind that we have the late 20th century sparkle of The City and its promise of riches.

But for me something’s changed somehow. Having discovered the rich (and disappearing) heritage of the area around Spitalfields last week, that 20th century sparkle now seems more menacing than the nearby streets where Jack the Ripper once roamed.

I wonder how long it’ll be before The City leaps across the few streets which separates it from where I’m standing?