The Barbican Centre

Isn’t there something slightly odd about the Barbican having ANOTHER competition to refurbish it, for £150 million which is a simply gigantic sum for refurbishment unless the whole place is suffering from some terrible, unmentionable failings of asbestos and concrete disease ?

Some of us will recall an ill-judged commission in the mid-1990s when Theo Crosby installed nine fibreglass muses in 1993 which were removed in 1997. Then it was revamped in 2006 for £12.6 million. The Barbican is growing old gracefully and is surely Grade 1 listed, so the last thing that is needed is a grandiose Diller Scofidio renovation.

On the other hand, £150 million would do very nicely to refurbish the existing Museum of London building as either a Museum of Fashion or a Museum of Photography, both long discussed and both of which would bring visitors into the centre of town.


2 thoughts on “The Barbican Centre

  1. joan says:

    Because of convenience much of the cultural life in this house revolves around the Barbican. My daughter has been regularly visiting the cinema this summer and we’ve been enjoying going back to exhibitions there. Despite having children who are very keen on music I was never sold on the Centre for Music idea – especially at a time when music education provision for young people is underfunded. Over the years my children have been involved in many creative projects at the Barbican – especially LSO and Jazz at the Lincoln Centre ones. Much of the rehearsal/workshopping for these have taken place at LSO St Lukes or in Sundial Court (part of the Guildhall). I wonder if there is a desire to provide more spaces actually within the centre for these types of activities.

    It was a big disappointment when the plug was pulled on the photography gallery at Aldgate. And while I’ve enjoyed many exhibitions at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in Bermondsey it is clearly too small to house blockbuster fashion exhibitions or exhibit the – often fascinating – technology used to produce clothes. It would be lovely to see better provision. With the London College of Fashion soon to be moving to Stratford having this on the East side of the city makes perfect sense.

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