A residential complex, an architectural phenomenon and an arts center that houses London’s greatest orchestra — the Barbican is an icon of Brutalist architecture which makes its presence permanently felt on the London skyline. Its public spaces, which include a theater, a cinema, an art gallery, and a concert hall that looks like the interior of the Starship Enterprise, are cultural magnets that draw people from across the city. The resident London Symphony Orchestra is just one of the many global classical powerhouses who frequent its stage, while its close association with the neighboring Guildhall School of Music and Drama infuses it with youth and energy.
Midcentury-design lovers will be in their element at the Barbican, a conference and concert venue with residences attached—but also a lauded paean to brutalist architecture. The Queen declared it a "modern wonder of the world" when she opened it in 1982, and indeed it is a unique place to catch a matinee film or a performance from the London Symphony Orchestra (which is based here). Admire its architecture from its elevated urban garden.