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October 15, 2009



The Barbican is a fucking calamity. It should be raised.

Alvin Lucier

The Barbican is very popular with the people who live there, like me. It's the best designed flat I've ever lived in, it's quiet, it has private garden and a 'lake' and it's a 4 minute walk to the local theatre and cinema.


Stoneleigh Terrace appears to allow a lot of light and air into each unit; the Barbican, from examining the photos at the link, seems dark and foreboding.
Those massive overhangs are often used in hot climates to offer relief from solar gain, but in Britain?!

Alvin Lucier

The flats aren't dark at all, and those photographs are a particularly bad set, seemly taken to make the place look austere and imposing I'm not claiming it is an English country village, but for living in the city - well I'll choose the Barbican over every Georgian London row house or Glasgow tenement I have ever lived in.

John Meredith

Barbican flats are very poipular but I think there is a lot of snobbery involved there. They are tiny, on the whole, and extremely resistant to adaptation. The designers did not seem to anticipate much technological advance in the coming decades or, perghaps more likely, they did not themselves ever clean or cook. Fine if you don't mind being bossed about by your house. The lower ones are often very public too and, of course, the public areas are notoriously difficult to navigate. They are also very low in density compared to alternative kinds of housing (like those Georgian terraces) and they cast a long shadow on the area around. These ones look much friendlier and I quite like Brunswick too, although, again, they are not exactly user-friendly, whic is odd given the rehtoric that surrsounded their construction.

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