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2 July 2009

Walk the Barbican High Walks

Your author is a fan of the Barbican Estate. It is, he considers, a Brutalist Marvel and is certainly not the concrete eyesore that some would have you believe. As we have covered previously, it was here that the first bomb of the Second World War fell on London, and it was only a considerable time after the war that architects were able to realise their vision for the site.

Architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon put forward a design influenced by French architecture of the period, aiming to create an urban village and completely separate pedestrians from the traffic which ran in the congested surrounding streets. Their design adopted the concept of a podium with a network of high walkways within the estate, which allows people to move around relatively free from the usual traffic and noise.

The walkways are, however, in true Brutalist style, a bit of a maze, and you can easily get lost on your first visit if you do not keep an eye on the maps as the Estate all looks very similar. This is half the fun, however, and from the High Walks you can access a tube station, museum, arts centre, greenhouse, church, school and a range of other facilities without needing to go back into the outside world.

For more information, have a look at this handy leaflet: http://www.barbican.org.uk/media/upload/visitor%20information/129WalkThrough-barbican.pdf.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Kai Hendry^

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