A glimpse inside the interiors of iconic Barbican apartments
Anton Rodriguez has been photographing his neighbours’ apartments in the Barbican Estate for the past couple of years. His blog Barbican Residents offers a fascinating insight into the interiors of the flats in the iconic post-war brutalist development, built by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon on a bomb site in the heart of the City of London.
The pictures, with one or two exceptions, depict the ideal environment to show off classic midcentury furniture and accessories. The Eames lounge chair and Louis Poulsen lights look as though they were created just to inhabit these spaces. Midcentury furniture has a particular affinity with the natural materials used in the homes, such as the warm, honeyed tones of the hardwood window and door frames. It’s not surprising that many of the residents are architects, designers, artists and other creatives who value the light-filled rooms, the quality of the materials and the incredible attention to detail in the design of these apartments.
The Barbican estate was described by Queen Elizabeth as “one of the modern wonders of the world” when she declared it open in 1982. With its coarse concrete surfaces, elevated gardens and trio of high-rise towers, it offered a new vision for how high-density residential neighbourhoods could be integrated with schools, shops and restaurants, as well as world-class cultural destinations. With the Corporation of London as client, the project was intended to create a mixed society of residents, primarily made up of city workers. The flats were never intended for sale. However the ‘right to buy’ legislation created a loophole, and all are now privately owned. It fell out of favour for a time but is now, once again, one of the most desirable places to live in London.
All photography by Anton Rodriguez
Read my Houzz article A Fascinating Peek Inside the Barbican’s Iconic Midcentury Flats