Golden Lane and Barbican Architecture Walking Tour - Wednesday 28 February 2024 11am

Golden Lane and Barbican Architecture Walking Tour - Wednesday 28 February 2024 11am

Regular price $26.00
/
Tax included.

Ticket type

Join Open City for a walking tour exploring London’s iconic Golden Lane and Barbican estates. 

The walk — led by Jessica Barker-Wren — will explore the Golden Lane and Barbican estates which were designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell & Bon and have witnessed a rollercoaster ride of changing public opinion over the decades.

Despite moments of controversy, the Barbican is now an internationally celebrated design icon and popular cultural destination. This tour will explore the unique and enigmatic architectural ingredients that draw people in again and again to explore this thought-provoking concrete megastructure. 

Starting at the Barbican’s older sibling -- the Golden Lane estate -- this walk will explore the history of the two neighbouring landmark developments and place their architecture within the wider 20th Century context. At the Barbican itself, by seeking out some of the lesser known nooks and corners within the estate we will unpick its design and details; and by exploring the light and shade, the under and over, the hard and the soft, consider what it is that makes this place an architectural masterpiece.

It will also delve into the contributions of politicians and planners who sought to promote a new kind of inner city living — one which emphatically rejected the anti-urban ideals of the bucolic and suburban Garden City movement. 

Before it was devastated by wartime bombing, this area had been dominated by warehouses and industrial premises. From 1952 to 1982, Chamberlin, Powell & Bon single-handedly transformed the City of London’s outer edge into a radical new neighbourhood providing 6,513 dwellings spread over an area totalling 17 hectares.

In their scale and ambition the two estates together rank among the foremost achievements of postwar planning and architecture anywhere in the world. 

The walk ends near the Barbican Centre — the international arts complex that lies at the heart of the Barbican Estate, looking across the artificial lake towards the medieval church of St Giles Cripplegate and remnants of the ancient City Wall.

This new tour follows the recent designation of the Golden Lane and Barbican estates as the City’s latest ‘Conservation Area’ in recognition of their architectural importance. While the Barbican still divides opinion, this tour will ask whether the ingenuity and generosity of its landscapes could still serve as a model for future urban housing.

Providing a fun way for enthusiastic urbanists to explore the city this walking tour is part of a new series responding to the core themes of the Open House festival and wider Open City programme.

Meet: Outside The Shakespeare pub on the corner of Fann Street, 2 Goswell Rd EC1M 7AA.

Duration: 2hrs

Distance: 1.7 km approx

Tour end: near the Barbican Centre.

Access: Step free access is possible for most of the route with lift access available for those that may need it to reach the Barbican Highwalk

Jessica Barker-Wren is an actor and filmmaker originally from Dartmoor in Devon. Her background is in Archaeology, Anthropology and Law. She has a strong interest in plants and the built environment, the Eurasian Steppe and queer Landscape.

Jess is also a member of MUSARC (a group of mostly architects who sing) and volunteers at Chelsea Physic Garden. She joined the Open City tours team in March 2022.

Tickets are non-refundable and tours go ahead rain or shine.

* Please check for any planned transport engineering works, planned strike action or large scale events that may effect your journey before making your ticket purchase *

If you find you can no longer make the tour for any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go and enjoy the tour in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled you will be issued with a credit note (with no expiry date) that you can use to 

- book onto a rescheduled date
- book onto any other tour from our programme 

or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.

Please select solidarity pricing to help Open City offer the concessionary tickets rate for student and jobseekers.

Our concession pricing (£9.50 for walking tours / £19.50 for boat tours) is available for students and jobseekers only. 

 

If you find you can no longer make the tour for Covid or any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled due to Covid or any other reason you will be provided with the opportunity to book onto a rescheduled date, book onto another tour, provided with a credit note (with no expiry date) or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.