If you follow us on social media, you’ll know that there’s never any shortage of photographs of our Brutalist surroundings whether it be of the Barbican Centre itself or the towers of the Estate. But have you ever wondered what the flats look like on the inside…?
Recently, we discovered a fascinating photography project that was doing just that, capturing the people who live inside the Barbican to learn more about how these residential spaces have been continually reinvented since opening in the late 1970s.
We managed to track down the (resident) photographer, Anton Rodriguez to find out more about his Barbican Resident project…
I’m Anton Rodriguez, a photographer living in the Barbican Estate, London. I specialise in mostly fashion, architecture and portrait photography.
How did you get into photography?
I studied Graphic Design in college and Fashion Design in university, through these courses we were always pushed to document our process and work in a visual way, I bought a camera and got hooked straight away. I’m self taught but luckily assisted a few photographers they really helped me understand lighting etc.
How did the Barbican Residents photography project come about?
I initially had the idea just over a year ago, at the time I noticed VSCO were running a grant called the Artist Initiative. I applied and kinda forgot all about it, until November last year I received an email from VSCO saying they loved the idea of the project. With this project I wanted to allow the public to get a rare glimpse of what goes on within the Barbican Estate, as you don’t often get to see it from the inside.
What equipment do you use?
I use a Canon 5DS, 50mm lens and a 16-35mm, For this project I use only natural lighting and no flash lighting.
What has been the best thing about the Barbican Residents project?
Meeting my neighbours! I’ve made so many friends from photographing other residents and it’s been a great way to meet like minded people. Also getting to see all the different layout of flats, there are supposedly over 100 different flat types!
What has been the most fascinating discovery about your Barbican neighbours…?
That many are creatives. I’ve met so many architects, designers, photographers, it’s really motivating to be surrounded by so many creative and honestly just nice people.
What’s next for the Barbican Residents project?
I plan to publish it as book this year, hopefully I can continue the project and do further volumes. I would also love to expand the project into different estates within London.
Do you have a favourite spot in the Barbican Centre or Estate?
My favourite spot in the Estate has to be the resident’s garden, it’s like an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the City. Within the Barbican Centre my favourite spot is the reading pods on the lake.
Do you have any advice for aspiring architecture photographers?
Go out and explore, I am constantly finding new spots within the Barbican by just walking around different routes. Purposely get yourself lost and you’re always in for a surprise.
Lead Photo: Michael Gannon
Want to learn more about the Barbican residential estate? Visit our free Foyer exhibition, Designing for a Living City (until 16 October), celebrating Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s original landscape plans, flat designs and interiors.