header

Forgotten Spaces: The Barbican Conservatory

Scroll

UK-based Luke Hayes is an independent photographer. One of his impressive works, a joint project with writer Sarah Simpkin, depicts the Barbican Conservatory. The Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London, in the middle of the Barbican Arts Centre.

Through Hayes’ lens you can explore this hidden tropical oasis, home of exotic fish and over 2.000 species of tropical plants and trees. Hanging gardens and flora have taken over the buildings that are waiting to be discovered. Hayes’ photos lavishly illustrate the interplay between nature and concrete.“Built to repopulate the post-war City of London, the Barbican Estate has become the poster girl for 1960s architectural idealism“ The idea to build the Barbican Centre was part of an utopian vision to transform an area of London, devastated by bombs during World War II. “Built to repopulate the post-war City of London, the Barbican Estate has become the poster girl for 1960s architectural idealism“, explains Simpkin. The conservatory was built in 1980 in a post war estate and looks beautifully wild against the bulbous architecture of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. Whereas many of the world’s post-war urban utopia experiments have failed, the Barbican Estate has withstood as a graceful vision of an architectural idyll. Now it is towering over densely populated streets. “Walking around the Barbican, the boundaries between public and private, between the arts centre and the residential spaces are invisible“, says Hayes.

photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_05
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_06
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_03
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_07
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_13
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_08
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_02
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_10
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_09
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_11
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_15
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_17
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_16
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_19
photography_lukehayes_barbicanconservatory_18
All images © Luke Hayes