A trip to the Barbican Conservatory


The Barbican Centre is a mass of grey buildings that is best known as host to a theatre, several concert halls, a cinema and an art gallery. However, what many people don’t know is that high up on top of this iconic building, thousands of tropical plants have made their home, overlooking the City of London.

The vegetation is housed inside the Barbican’s Conservatory and allows the viewer to step out of rainy London and into a tropical haven. It is only open to the public on select days, often Sunday’s but I really wish I took the opportunity to visit much sooner! The interior is stunning and contains over 2,000 species of tropical plants. The lush shades of green are a startling and welcoming contrast to the Barbican’s grey exterior. As a viewer, you are able to climb up multiple levels and admire the beauty of this oasis from every angle. At the top I found a room full to burst with cacti while on the lower level is a pond full of koi fish. This blog normally concerns itself with the more classical visual arts, but I assure you that you would be able to appreciate the conservatory just as much as any art gallery or exhibition.

The conservatory has a sense of tranquility and serenity that I certainly find difficult to locate in central London. It was the perfect place of refuge during a dreary Sunday afternoon and is something that everyone should be able to have the joy of discovering. I thoroughly recommend spending your next lazy Sunday reconnecting with nature.

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine and Reorient.

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