The House of Elyot

Bits, Bobs and Barbicans

Posted on: January 23, 2011

The Choirmaster is available to buy from AllRomance Ebooks now, as well as the Amazon Kindle store so, to celebrate, I thought I’d do a little post about the London location where the action begins.

Londoners have a love-hate relationship with the Barbican, but I have always loved it. It was controversial when it opened in 1982 and has been voted the city’s ugliest building, but I have always found much to love in its brutalist concrete blocks and windswept piazzas. Perhaps it is a huge and odd thing to find so close to the ancient London City walls, but I always relished coming up to street level and seeing it, like an alien spacecraft full of cultural delights come to land in our midst.

I’ve seen and heard many wonderful things behind those 70s-carpark-like walls. I’ve wandered around the fake lake at night asking myself if I was in love. I’ve met orchestral players and watched Shakespeare. I’ve even (like Loveday) been caught in a thunderstorm within its vast precincts and had to drip dry in my seat at the recital.

It’s different. It’s a freakishly still and silent place in the centre of chaos. I hope it lasts at least a few decades longer.

5 Responses to "Bits, Bobs and Barbicans"

Nice post. Reminds me of the ugly concrete campus I went to college in. We too, had a manmade lake – the place was built in the sixties by a Polish fascist who put in a huge lake so there was nowhere for rebelling students to amass. The departements were also hidden away in case of revolting students and there were coloured lines on the floor leading to them when I was there 🙂

Ooh, sneaky architect, trying to force the revolting students into the lake! Paranoid much?

The Barbican is one of my dream places to live in London. I admit, I often trawl through the listings to look at the really big flats (for a given value of big, of course). It’s just. *sigh* I don’t know. You understand. It’s not *nice*, but it’s very…. Yes. *You know.* Barbican.

I’ve wandered around the fake lake at night asking myself if I was in love.

Me too. (And I was 🙂 )

Ha, Rachel, I sometimes wonder if you are me. I have a habit of looking at desirable London property on the estate agency sites and always get a bit excited when there’s a Barbican flat up for sale. I’ve even written an unfinished book including a character with a pied-a-terre overlooking the fake lake. I may even finish it one day.

🙂 I think it’s definitely a sign that I need to buy you a drink at some point LOL.

I am all excited because my next project requires me deciding between Maida Vale and Mayfair for a private residence, and oh darn, Foxtons website fantasies here I come.

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