Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Barbican Estate is a housing estate in the City of London. The estate is notable because it contains three of London's tallest buildings ((Cromwell Tower), Shakespeare Tower, and Lauderdale Tower, at 123 metres/403 feet each) and because it is a rare residential site in an area densely packed with commerce and finance. The Barbican Estate also contains the Barbican Centre (an arts, drama and business venue), the City of London School for Girls and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
The idea to build a residential site in the Cripplegate area, as it was previously known, arose out of the ashes of World War II. Following almost complete destruction in the Blitz, only around 5,000 people lived in the City in 1950 of whom only 50 lived in Cripplegate. The decision to build new residential properties on the site was finally taken by the Court of Common Council on 19 September 1957.
The estate was officially opened in 1969 and is now home to around 4,000 people living in 2,000 flats. The flats reflect the widespread use in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s of concrete as the visible face of the building. This has led some commentators to denounce the flats as clumsy in comparison with their newer, more glassy surroundings, though a countervailing tendency sees the area as maturing into a place with some character and charm of its own. A third group would denounce both styles as ugly in comparison to the historical styles of architecture in London.
Nearby rail and Tube
- Liverpool Street station
- Barbican tube station
- Moorgate station
- St. Paul's tube station
- Farringdon station
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