The Barbican: A cultural centre for people of all ages

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By Michaela Nagyidaiova

The Barbican first opened its doors to the public 35 years ago and has since become one of the most popular, well-known spots in London.

Some people come to enjoy a quiet atmosphere in their little ‘Zen zones’ outside and hide from the busy streets of the city. Others visit their library, theatre, gallery or even just to get a coffee from one of their coffee shops.

Peaceful atmosphere: Visit The Barbican today to get away from the busy city.


By the looks of it, The Barbican aims to bring culture, art and architecture together, as well as appeal to different crowds.

It seems like The Barbican has been doing quite a good job in this, as when you enter this artistic hub you see older communities and younger communities socialising.

LCC student, Valerie, 19, sitting with her laptop in the outside area next to a fountain said: “I usually come when it’s sunny, so I can do my work for university outside, which is always better. The Barbican is one of my favourite places to go to. It’s the architecture I think.”

There has previously been a big clash of opinions by society about whether the building is a great architectural accomplishment or a dismal failure.

Even though the complex was considered to be one of London’s ugliest buildings, some can still find an unusual beauty to it.

“Sometimes my friends and I organise picnics out here, we get drinks and snacks from the coffee shop inside, and enjoy the atmosphere together,” adds Valerie.

The peculiar aesthetics of The Barbican are not the only thing people look for in here.

Robert, 27, who is a very frequent visitor said: “I came to see the new exhibition called The Japanese House. The Barbican never disappoints.”

The centre is notorious for hosting numerous well-known exhibitions. Their new one, The Japanese House, explores homes, personalities in Japanese culture and architecture. The Londonist, Time Out and the Evening Standard all gave it outstanding reviews.

If exhibitions aren’t your favourite thing, pop in to the Barbican’s conservatory on a Sunday. “I’m here today because I need to return a book that I borrowed from the library but if there’s one thing I can recommend, that is the tropical conservatory. I’ve been many times,” said Janice, 23.

Tropical Conservatory


You never know what you can find at the Barbican. Its ‘secret’ tropical conservatory is open only one day of the week. Begin exploring.


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