Barbican was actually the name of a street in the old ward of Cripplegate and was the centre of the old rag trade and home to fabric and leather merchants, furriers and many other tradesmen.
But the Second World War soon put an end to that and, in December 1940, the whole area was destroyed by German bombers. By the war’s end, hardly anything remained intact in the area.
After the war, the business of rebuilding began with architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, now considered one of the most important modernist architectural companies in post-war England. Chamberlin, Powell & Bon went on to produce three schemes for the redevelopment of the area that became known as the Barbican.
In 1982, the Queen opened the Barbican Centre and declared it ‘one of the modern wonders of the world’, with the building seen as a landmark in terms of scale, cohesion and ambition. Its amazing urban landscapes, as well as its location right in the heart of the Barbican Estate, have contributed to making it one of the most significant architectural achievements of the 20th century and one of London’s best examples of Brutalist architecture.