Some have described it as an ugly lump of concrete, while others see it as a stunning piece of brutalist architecture that helps define London‘s landscape. But either way, the Barbican estate – comprising of homes built in the 1960s and 1980s – tends to provoke an emotive response.
And that response is overwhelmingly one of admiration among those who live there.
Young professionals enjoy the facilities on their doorsteps, with the estate being in the city’s financial district next to the Barbican Arts Centre, the Museum of London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
At the same time, young families praise its community feel and the endless avenues that children can explore, seeing it as a large playground.
A four-bedroom house on the Barbican estate that overlooks the remains of the London Wall – a defensive wall built by the Romans – is available to rent
From the outside, people may not see the brutalist architecture in the financial district of the capital as an ideal place to bring up children.
But Lawrence WIlliams – who has lived on the Barbican estate for 15 years and is a father – said he would not want to live anywhere else in London.
I would not want to live anywhere else in London
‘It is good for children, particularly younger families as there are fully enclosed gardens and childrens’ play groups, so it is really safe. And as children get older, they love play in the walkways.’
He added: ‘There is a real sense of community here for parents.’
There are several community websites for residents with details about local events and discounts on items such as Barbican cinema tickets.
There is a total of three balconies at the property, one on the first floor and one either side on the top floor
The property is spread across four levels with a generous sun room on the top floor
The sun room has floor to ceiling patio doors opening onto two good-sized terraces
The properties are not cheap to buy, with an average sale price edging towards the million pound mark – almost double the typical price of a home in the capital.
Rents also tend to be higher than average, with a four-bedroom house on the estate currently available to rent for £5,214 a month.
Lettings agent Portico is handling the rental of the four-bedroom house, which is a short walk from both Barbican and Moorgate underground stations.
Portico’s Ed Lugg said: ‘This is a great opportunity, which doesn’t come around often, for someone to let a truly unique property and experience a beautiful part of historic London.
‘They can experience the culture and serenity of this immediate area while being in close proximity to the buzz and bustle of central London.’
The Barbican estate is a residential site built during the 1960s and 1980s, renowned for its brutalist architecture
The kitchen has elements of Brutalist architecture, with concrete appearing at the window
The bright and spacious second floor has a lounge and a separate dining area
The remains of the London Wall – built by the Romans – can be seen from inside of the property
The brutalist architecture of the Barbican makes it a striking feature of London’s landscape
The Grade II listed property for rent comes with three balconies – one of which looks out over the remains of the London Wall, the defensive wall built by the Romans. And across the waterway is the stunning St Giles’ church.
Mr Lugg added: ‘With the original modernist features having been maintained throughout, the property is spacious and simple in décor.
‘Any lover of architecture or design would be in heaven in this incredible area, which showcases a Brutalist style in nearby architecture, from London’s post-war redevelopment.’
The terrace property also has two bathrooms, a kitchen, spacious reception rooms, and a single garage.
Simon Tollit, of estate agent Tedworth Property, said: ‘The Grade II listed Barbican estate is an iconic development in the heart of the City of London and following a period when it was not considered a particularly fashionable place to live, has in the past few years become a highly desirable and well-located place to call home.
‘Equidistant from the City and the tech district surrounding Old Street, it’s equally popular with city types and tech entrepreneurs. Retaining many original features, it has a unique charm and community feel and is widely considered one the most desirable places to live in the city.
‘Of course, with such great transport links, numerous bars and the ultra-cool restaurants of Shoreditch and Islington on your doorstep, it’s easy to understand why it has such a loyal following.’
There are four bedrooms in the rental property, with concrete separating the floor to ceiling windows
There is space to use one of the rooms as a work station – or as a small fifth bedroom
The single garage is an unusual and sought-after feature of the rental property
One of the bathrooms has an avocado bathroom suite, which was at the height of fashion around the time parts of the Barbican estate were built
The Grade II listed property previously housed a family with children who grew up on the estate