a timely revisiting of a building the complexity of which we are only just starting to appreciate (Building Design, July 04)
first complete story of the Barbican Estate provides in–depth design info as well as a wider historical overview (FX Magazine, August 2004)
a fascinating study (Architects Journal, September 04)
packed with pictures, plans, models and discreet type telling the complicated tale of a landmark project s post–war inception and influences (Civic Focus, No. 47 Summer 2004)
From the Back Cover
The Barbican Estate is one of the most berated and beloved architectural projects in London. Taking over 20 years to complete from its inception in 1963, it was widely condemned in the 1980s for its acreage of relentless concrete and lack of clear entrances. Since then, however, it has inspired passion and enthusiasm from residents and visitors alike. With its penthouses and tower apartments, it provided one of the earliest prototypes for loft living in England. Located close to the City and Clerkenwell, it is now one of the most desirable addresses for politicians, financiers, creative professionals and media figures alike.
In the book, the author, David Heathcote traces the development of the Barbican from pre–war planning to present day. Built on the largest blitzed site in the City of London, it was conceived as a new Belgravia to bring the professional classes back to the heart of the City. The project overcame all sorts of difficulties, from the challenges of London′s geology to the economic problems that beset Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. The final scheme involved the construction of the highest apartments in Europe, with elements derived from the elegant squares of Georgian London , contemporary architects like Le Corbusier and Scharoun, and the Baroque architecture and gardens of Italy.