Barbican writers

The artistic community abounds in the Barbican, among which are a number of residents who are writers of novels, nonfiction publications or for the media.  Joanna Lyall from Bunyan Court introduces us to three of several resident book writers all of whom have fascinating histories and are still writing and publishing their works today. Peter Fraenkel, who celebrates his 93rd birthday this month (December 7th) vividly remembers the aftermath of Kristallnacht in his home town of Breslau, Germany, (now Wroclaw, Poland) in November 1938.  He saw the synagogue burning and a protester being … [Read more...]

INSIGHT Exhibition Review

Janet Wells’ quarterly review of the Arts, Gallery and Museum scene. Barbican Library Exhibitions Tamara Tolley: At Home in the Barbican – October Starts Wednesday 2nd October with a private view at 6 – 8.30pm accompanied by two lunchtime lectures Tamara Tolley is a resident artist working from the balcony of her flat on the corner of Frobisher Crescent above the Barbican Centre.  Employing a range of mixed media, Tamara’s vibrant, fresh and intuitive landscapes of the Barbican reflect her deep love for the Estate, as well as her intimate knowledge of its majesty and an … [Read more...]

100 Years of Bauhaus

We celebrate the 50th Birthday of the first Residents moving into our Estate this year - but this year Barnebys (the global auction house portal) highlights that it is also the centennial of the Bauhaus movement, an influential school that ushered in a modern and integrated approach to art, architecture and design. Upon its founding in 1919, the Bauhaus movement revolutionised international modern art and design in the 20th century, from architectural achievements and furniture innovations to developments in fine art and craft textiles. Bauhaus defined a modern style that merged tenets of … [Read more...]

Not just summer’s lease with too short a date!

The last issue of the magazine celebrated the Barbican at 50. The excellent opening article gave me pause to reminisce on the many happy years we spent in Willoughby and Speed. As I frequently visit the Barbican, happily wandering down memory lane on the highwalks, I don’t actually feel as though I’ve left. In fact the entrance buzzer in Speed still bears our name! Among the highlights of our time in the Barbican was my wife, Nina’s birthday party held on Speed Lawn with some 80 or so friends, family members and neighbours in attendance. Kebabs were delivered by the Mangal in Dalston, the … [Read more...]

Support Just Around the Corner

Fiona Savory and Janet Wells introduce us to St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney and the generous legacy of Gilbert House Resident, the late C Douglas Woodward Main entrance to St Joseph's Hospice, Mare Street St Joseph’s Hospice, located in Mare Street, Hackney, may be familiar to some Barbican residents either through visiting relatives and friends who have received support from the multi-faith hospice, or benefitting themselves from the services and support offered.  Others may not be aware of the work and activities of our local hospice.   It supports people in east and north east London, … [Read more...]

Wine and food pairing tips

After a successful English Wine Week earlier this year, Gert Pienaar - Audley Group Head Chef - has tips for us on how to pair wine and food. With thousands of wine regions across the world and hundreds of types of grapes, getting to grips with wine pairing can seem like a daunting task. And while there is no denying that a beautifully paired wine can really bring out the flavour in a dish, the truth is that no meal is ever ruined by a wine that isn’t quite right. However, if you are looking to start matching your wine choices with food, Gert Pienaar, Audley Group Head Chef, shares his … [Read more...]

Keep on clubbing

Phil Ellaway takes a closer look inside some of the more notable London Clubs. The ‘London Club’ stereotype in fiction and historical drama is a male only institution with dark interiors, deep leather armchairs, and ancient members, almost as crusted as their after-dinner port.  In this quiet and secretive environment, the people who really run the country meet away from the eyes and ears of the general public. This image has been both fueled and lampooned in fiction.   Clubs were an important part of the 19th Century landscape of power and featured in the works of authors such as … [Read more...]

Three Generations

A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THREE GENERATIONS OF FAMILY LIFE IN THE BARBICAN by Nadine Waddell “And up there” said my daughter pointing high up to one of the famous tooth edge balconies of the Barbican tower, and speaking with the authority of a Barbican tour guide…  “is where my Aunt’s visiting cat prowled its way along the balcony edge ….” This is evidently going to be a Barbican architecture tour with a difference. “Over there is the lift door where my mum’s veil nearly snagged on her wedding day, there’s the car park where Dad fitted the car seat for me when I came home from hospital … [Read more...]

The First Barbican Baby

(interview with Valerie Healey transcribed by Helen Hudson) We moved into Andrewes House in 1969. Our second flat was in Willoughby House but due to my ill health at the time the stairs over the four level flat proved too much. We moved from there to Lauderdale Tower and after some time, and largely by accident, we noticed that for the same rent (the apartments were still rented at this time) there was a very large flat duplex flat at the end of Ben Jonson House.  It had larger bedrooms than our tower block flat which suited us better at the time so we decided to go with that one.  It … [Read more...]

Our Concrete Utopia – Revisited

It is always interesting to see how the Barbican is viewed by outsiders in terms of both architecture and as a living space.  The following article was first published in the September 2016 edition of N for Norwegian, the in flight magazine for Norwegian Air Shuttle.  With the 50th Anniversary of the first residents moving into the estate it is worth revisiting this view of how an outsider views the finished product. A maze of 21 residential blocks and a world-renowned Arts Centre, London’s Barbican was designed as a radical solution to urban living – but only now, 50 years after building … [Read more...]