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To wonder if the Barbican is one of the ugliest places in London?

(95 Posts)
leprachaun Sun 02-Feb-14 15:02:57

I lived there for a while, have friends there, and there is no doubt that it is wonderfully convenient. But am I the only one to think that it is hideously ugly, just like many other 1960s council blocks. However, now it has a Grade 2 listing - emperor's new clothes, or what?

I would be interested to know where you consider to be the ugliest and most beautiful parts of London.

Pigsmummy Sun 02-Feb-14 15:07:19

He lloyds building is horrible to look too.

PedlarsSpanner Sun 02-Feb-14 15:08:25

it is BRUTAL

I like Dolphin Square though <fickle>

Pigsmummy Sun 02-Feb-14 15:08:30

Meant the Lloyds of London Building. It looks like a badly designed car park or a nice building that was built inside out by mistake.

Oldraver Sun 02-Feb-14 15:10:40

It is a bit erm... concrety. (apart from the huge bits of metal that fall off in high winds)

The audotorium is lovely though

VelvetSpoon Sun 02-Feb-14 15:10:45

I've always loved the Barbican - first time I went there was mid80s with the school to watch a play. I thought it would be an amazing place to live!

I know someone who owns 2 (!) very expensive flats there.

Get a bit nostalgic about the Lloyds building too, as used to have to go there a lot for work in the mid 90s, so not sure I can bring myself to call it ugly either!

NewtRipley Sun 02-Feb-14 15:11:23

I used to think it was horrible. I have come round to it though.

I can imagine some kind of modern urban horror story being set there though. It's so dark, and sometimes almost deserted.

PedlarsSpanner Sun 02-Feb-14 15:12:07

yy Newt

It puts me in mind of a Margaret Atwood type dystopia

NewtRipley Sun 02-Feb-14 15:12:26

The British Library building is shockingly ugly - nasty 19800s red brick

zizzo Sun 02-Feb-14 15:12:33

What is with 60s concrete architecture? Errrgh.

NewtRipley Sun 02-Feb-14 15:12:47

1980s even

NewtRipley Sun 02-Feb-14 15:14:14

As "retro" becomes fashionable, though, even concrete can look good. I used to hate the Camden Library building (opposite St Pancras). I now think it's quite cool.

Parkend Sun 02-Feb-14 15:14:18

The Barbican is ugly and grade II listed as is Centre Point.

MadIsTheNewNormal Sun 02-Feb-14 15:14:50

Isn't the Barbican grade II listed now? It may be brutal and concrete but it is considered to be some sort of post-modernist masterpiece. I remember when you couldn't give those places away and now they are the height of hipness. And so convenient for someone who works in the city and plays in the west end.

I would KILL for one of those flat/maisonette things.

NewtRipley Sun 02-Feb-14 15:15:10


I think once Crossrail is finished, Centre Point may look rather magnificent


ComposHat Sun 02-Feb-14 15:15:15

I love it. My wife used to work there during our courting dsys and I'd wander around the deserted streets at the weekend. I usdd to find it awe inspiring.

squoosh Sun 02-Feb-14 15:18:20

I love it.

It's not 'pretty' but I hate the Prince Charles attitude that everything should look Disney Georgian.

RunRunRuby Sun 02-Feb-14 15:20:50

I love it. It's so bleak and desolate, and so functional.

zizzo Sun 02-Feb-14 15:23:26

Damn right everything should be as pretty as Georgian buildings!

MrsHowardRoark Sun 02-Feb-14 15:23:32

Oh, it's beautiful. But I get brutalist design isn't everyone's cup of tea.

HoneyDragon Sun 02-Feb-14 15:33:19

I love that walking up the stairs in the Barbican feels like Mandala House, and you expect to see Delboy walking down toward you.

The views and location make it worth it though grin

MadIsTheNewNormal Sun 02-Feb-14 15:36:37

Yes Run I remember when purely functional was a bad thing, and now it seems so right.

MadIsTheNewNormal Sun 02-Feb-14 15:37:06

Yes Run I remember when purely functional was a bad thing, and now it seems so right.

MadIsTheNewNormal Sun 02-Feb-14 15:40:58

Although Georgian architecture was also pared down and purely functional at the time, (was simplistic externally and maximised light internally, just like 60' and 70's architecture) so perhaps with the benefit of hindsight we can appreciate simple function over highly decorative form.

MothratheMighty Sun 02-Feb-14 15:42:56

I'm not a fan of Neo-Brutalist, or the 60s and 70s passion for concrete cuboids. It's a good thing that the materials nd construction were as crap as the architecture, and that it all falls down in a few decades.
Not just the Barbican, all of the hideous monstrosities scattered throughout the country. Then they can have a rethink and put up something better.

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