The Barbican Estate
Viewed from Aldersgate Street, here are the two Barbican Tower Blocks that exist within the Ward (Lauderdale and Shakespeare) and in the foreground, Thomas More House
The Barbican story began on 29th December 1940. Incendiary bombs fell on the area destroying it completely. Several plans for redevelopment were put forward and in 1957 the Court of Common Council finally resolved to redevelop the area as a residential estate and appointed Chamberlain, Powell and Bon as the architects. The Barbican Estate took nearly 15 years to build, with the Arts Centre as a late addition. It was finally completed in 1982.
The Barbican is home to around 4,000 people in 2,000 flats. Its architecture is unapologetically modem. Those who live here are fiercely defensive of its beauty and unique character, many describing it as our little piece of concrete heaven. In 2001 this uniqueness was recognised when the Estate was granted Grade 2 listing.
In England, Le Courbusier’s influence led to a local style, known as Brutalism. The name comes from béton brut, the French for raw concrete. Nothing to do with being brutal.
Further information from the City of London Corporation on the Barbican Estate is available by clicking the button below.
To the right is a picture showing what used to be the Barbican YMCA at No. 2 Fann Street.
This has been an unoccupied building within Aldersgate Ward for some time. However, this 4th Barbican Tower has been converted into further residential accommodation and is now known as 'Blake Tower'.
Further information is available by clicking the button below.
Fann Street Wildlife Garden is one of the private residents' gardens on the Estate and is recognised as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. It provides a green corridor for wildlife movement in, around, and through the City. The garden, which is mainly funded by Estate residents, is actively managed by the Barbican Wildlife Group (BWG) and City Gardens.
The Garden consists of a wildflower meadow, two bee-and-butterfly friendly gardens (a traditional cottage garden and a sunny, dry garden), a wildlife pond and a number of different wooded areas.
The Garden also contains a number of insect habitats, plus bird feeders and bird boxes. 2013 marked the beginning of the RSPB's and Woodland Trust's active involvement in helping BWG create long-term plans to enhance the numbers and variety of species visiting the Garden.
For the second year running in 2013, London in Bloom awarded this Garden a Certificate of Excellence and the City's Open Spaces department one of its first Gold awards.
The parts of the Barbican residential estate which exist within Aldersgate Ward also extend to the North of the Beech Street Tunnel. Three low-rise buildings: Bunyan Court, Bryer Court and John Trundle Court, create an enclosed courtyard space and, together with the Fann Street Garden and the invaluable 7 day a week opening, Barbican Launderette, make up the northern most part of the Ward.
The world class, Barbican Arts and Entertainment Centre actually resides completely within the Ward of Cripplegate, but here is a link to it anyway!