It is my firm belief that if the whole of London closed down except the Barbican Centre, us Londoners could still satisfy all our cultural desires in this one building. It is Europe’s largest arts and culture venue.
My favourite bit of it, though, is the Barbican Art Gallery. Located on the third floor of the Brutalist building, the gallery has a rolling programme of exhibitions which mostly focus on architecture, design and fashion. Previous exhibitions that I’ve enjoyed are retrospectives of the work of Viktor & Rolf, Charles & Ray Eames, Bauhaus, Yohji Yamamoto, Pop Art and Jean Paul Gaultier to name a few.
The space feels like it has been tailored around each individual exhibition. The upper level of the gallery is made up of over 10 open rooms around the outside, which house exhibitions of a retrospective nature perfectly.
There’s a good bookshop on the lower level, always stocking books I’ve yet to come across on subjects such as fashion, art, architecture and design. When I’ve had a peruse around here and I’ve stocked up, I take the weight off my feet in the Barbican riverside café with great views and great tea. Try the lemon drizzle cake, too – it’s marvellous. Bonfire, a fairly new burger restaurant on the first floor of the complex, is a great place for a pit stop.