United Kingdom #11: The Barbican Estate

Ileanna Pena ’24 and Chamari Williams ’24, recount an afternoon in London’s Barbican Estate.

Anticipating the long day ahead of us, the group met in the hotel’s lobby at 8:15am to enjoy a nice breakfast. By 9:00am, we were out the door and on our way to the University of Arts in London for our short courses. To start off the course, we began with a slideshow of sculptors and jumped right into line drawings. Using various techniques and paces, we drew the faces of our peers and would later on sculpt one of our drawings out of wire. At noon, we had the chance to go to a grocery store and select our own lunch which we would eat as a group. Following our meals, we used clay and impressions to create a representative piece on how we see London.

Those pieces are going to be revealed tomorrow morning so the plaster of Paris (our casting medium) can be fully dry. After class we hopped on the tube and got on our route to London’s Barbican Estate. Thanks to Envoy’s network, we were able to get a tour and some background information from the Barbican enthusiast and architect, Carly. Her focus within architecture was inclusivity and accessibility which I thought was really cool because it is great to know that such important features, yet so overlooked, have their own expertise. It was great to ask her questions about the Barbican’s history, how it relates to design and architecture on a broader scale, and how the concern for inclusion and accessibility changes or can change amongst different people and projects. By the end of our time at the Barbican it was around 8:00 pm in London and we had a beautiful walk back just at the beginning of sunset.