London Wall, City of London, c. 1960s


Around the back of London Wall in Finsbury Circus are these fine mosaics telling you where you are.

Brutalism and the Barbican

The Barbican feels like the UK’s most successfully realised and enduring brutalist development, perhaps partly because of the guiding hand of the City of London Corporation, the strong arts content and the value of the land it is on. These images, from a series documenting the final couple of years of the project’s construction, were taken by photographer Peter Bloomfield. They not only show the completed site, above in October 1981, but also some of the finishing touches made to the vision of project architect John Honer.

i particularly like the patterning of the concrete, above. There’s a lot of concrete of course at the Barbican and the contrast between the smooth and chunky bits is very pleasing. 

Bloomfield not only captured the concert hall and theatre (above) but explored the entire development, above and below ground. “I was looking for views. I don’t look for great wide vistas. I wanted detail in the foreground, detail through to the background and strong perspectives that fed you into the picture,” he says. Some 70 of the 1,400 pictures he took have now been collected in book form and there’s also an excellent website here.

All images Peter Bloomfield © Barbican Centre, 2016