Explore the history behind the creation of the open spaces, gardens, and conservatory that are found across the Barbican Estate and Arts Centre.
For over a decade (1940–1956), the devastated postwar site where this exhibition now stands was a wild landscape. Debate on the urban role of open space raged on, while weeds gently but effectively regenerated the City from its ashes. A monumental landscape emerged, combining low and high rise buildings and spaces, creating an enclosed, urban fabric within the City.
Flying Trees and Sunken Squares is the fifth of the changing foyer displays. It explores the history and design of the Barbican Estate and Arts Centre and is divided into three sections. A selection of books from founding CP&B partner Geoffrey Powell bring to light references from continental Europe and inspiration from the English garden. A selection of archival drawings and illustrations conveys the interweaving of artifice and nature. At its centre historical drawings of the Conservatory and newly commissioned botanical photography celebrate the glass and steel design of this hidden garden.
Meet the Barbican: Neil Anderson - Head Craftsperson
How do you maintain a tropical conservatory surrounded by concrete? Neil Anderson, our Head Craftsperson, is the man to speak to. Find out more about his work and his experience working at the Barbican.
Silk Street, London
Nearby public transport
We are within walking distance from a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus Route 153 runs directly past the Barbican along Chiswell Street Car and bicycle parking
We have free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces available
We’ve plenty of places for you to relax and replenish, from coffee and cake to wood-fired pizzas and full pre-theatre menus
Keep in touch to hear about our upcoming exhibitions, events and news