I loved the tactile structures project. it was perfectly suited to the type of design i am interested in. I have always been a fan of architecture so on finding out that we would be having to draw our inspiration from places like the Barbican and South Bank i couldn't have been more inspired. I love bringing in the architecture of buildings into my art, i love mixing perspective and scale with the strong geometric shapes of Brutalist Architecture. 


Designed by a team from the London County Council architects department, the Southbank Centre is a stunning view of the future as envisaged at the time. Instead of providing a monumental, pompous, singular building, the centre attempts to emphasise all of the parts that make it up. Each individual system is visible – the rooflights above the galleries, the cantilever of the concert halls, the pedestrian routes that three-dimensionally envelop the site, the mechanical services that thread around and plug into the main spaces. All of these make up a thrilling and dense ensemble, something like a cybernetic diagram, which designer Warren Chalk hoped would convey "the message of the city as an entire building".

In the end it comes down to brutalism – still the most reviled mode of building in Britain. No other form or style has so much common-sense opprobrium launched its way, frequently over something so simple as a dislike of fair-faced concrete (which is rather like saying all string quartets are rubbish because we don't like the viola). Ever since the tide turned against the style in the 1970s, it has been a commonplace that brutalism is inhumane, monstrous, carbuncular; it is the subject of innumerable attacks as predictably banal as they are convinced of their own startling originality.


Grade II listed building, the Barbican is Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue and one of London’s best examples of Brutalist architecture. It was developed from designs by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon as part of a utopian vision to transform an area of London left devastated by bombing during the Second World War. The Centre took over a decade to build, with the final cost totalling £156 million.

The Barbican was opened by The Queen in 1982, who declared it ‘one of the modern wonders of the world’ with the building seen as a landmark in terms of its scale, cohesion and ambition. Its stunning spaces and unique location at the heart of the Barbican Estate have made it an internationally recognised venue, set within an urban landscape acknowledged as one of the most significant architectural achievements of the 20th century.


^ Claude Parent

^ Psalter Lane Art Collage (1970)

^ Lambeth Road Police Control Centre, London (1966)

^ Fire Station (1974) in Sweden by Hans Borgstrom


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