Barbican Centre London

Sum it up

A thoroughly urban venue that has attracted international acclaim for its packed artistic programmes, mix of theatres, halls, as well as its 1960s concrete building.

There are many cultural centres in our capital and the Barbican makes a very unique venue thanks to its controversial architecture and constant performances scheduled in its many theatres and informal spaces.

Barbican Front 500x130

Tell me more

The Barbican is simply devoted to the arts and it’s the perfect place to host its round-the-year productions, performances and educational programmes, thanks to a variety of theatres, auditoriums, boardroom and meeting rooms. The Barbican is a cultural hotspot with musical, film and plays constantly being performed, providing a vibrant venue for your shows, meetings, conferences, receptions, corporate celebrations and smaller private parties, such as weddings.

‘A Wonder of the Modern World’

Forming part of the larger Barbican Complex, this venue has drawn acclaim for it’s concrete constructions, which has been both praised by the Queen and voted as London’s Ugliest building

  • The Barbican Centre’s 1960s facade makes a urban and unique venue
  • Opened in 1982 and is currently home to two symphonic orchestras
  • Is one of Europe’s biggest performing arts centres with on and off site events
  • Varied mix of rooms for hire including the ‘hidden treasure’ conservatory
  • Capacity varies from nearly 2,000 people to five for smaller on site venues
  • Contributed to the 2012 Cultural Olympiad as part of last year’s games
  • The Barbican’s central London location makes travel to the venue simple

Urban controversy

The Barbican Centre was ‘gifted’ to the public by the City of London Corporation when it was opened by the Queen in 1982. Even though it was a present of sorts, its 1960s facade has attracted all kinds of opinions. There are those - including the Queen - who refer to it as “one of the modern wonders of the world” and another camp of people who may agree with a poll by Grey London naming it as London’s Ugliest Building in 2003! Its block-like concrete structure definitely divides opinion, but also adds to the uniqueness of this venue.

The idea for the complex was first raised in the 1950s with developers keen to regenerate the area following heavy bombing in WWII. The construction of the centre began in 1971 and the site officially opened over a decade later in 1982. The cost effective ‘block’ design was popular at the time as a way of building affordable homes and government structures because of the affordability of materials.

Packed arts programmes

Although the facade of the centre has drawn differing opinions, the devotion to the arts, music, and film has attracted positive acclaim from across the world. Just last year it was heavily involved in the Cultural Olympiad. This ran in parallel with the 2012 Olympics and featured a UK-wide programme of 500 arts events. Outside of the games, the Barbican sees an amazing 300,000 people visiting its off-site events, while around 1.77 million visitors arrive at the complex every year to enjoy the many musical performances, plays, films, as well as conferences and other private occasions.

Rooms for shows, parties, meetings and conferences

This urban centre is perfect for large shows and a large variety of other events because of the many different rooms available for hire. Two of the largest are the Barbican Hall and Barbican Theatre. The bigger of these is the Barbican Hall - a 1950 seated theatre that has tiered seating and air conditioning. It’s roomy yet still creates an intimate atmosphere with many large companies and musical groups choosing it as their venue for conferences and performances.

The Barbican Theatre also offers clear sight lines for all audience members and has a 1156 capacity, with no seat located more than 20 metres from the stage. This makes it perfect for shows and conferences, as delegates and audience all get a perfectly clear view of the stage area. The Barbican also offers some of its foyer areas for hire, which give you the option to introduce your company as soon as people arrive near the event. Foyers can be used for branding, advertising, or as a catering or relaxation area for delegates. Our modular tables, stretch barriers, and natural fabric sofas can really add to these locations, creating a sophisticated yet comfortable introduction to your brand.

We supply the furniture you need

Your training days, corporate conferences and boardroom meetings will all require different features from the venue you choose, such as rooms where you can show presentations or more intimate settings for smaller meetings. We have a range of conference furniture including blue and black stacking chairs that add style and comfort to your events. The Barbican has designed its hire rooms to meet as many of these needs as possible. The Frobisher rooms are a collection of meeting and conference areas perfect for our corporate furniture hire customers keen to discuss business in this vibrant, cultural location.

These modern rooms range in capacity from 10 to 170 people, with some areas linked to auditoriums so delegates can move smoothly from meeting rooms to presentations held in these cinema-style locations. The Barbican is also a popular place for more informal occasions, with its Garden Room looking out over the London skyline via floor to ceiling windows - a fantastic venue for sophisticated events.

Hire furniture for any event

The Conservatory is described on the Barbican’s website as a “hidden treasure” because of its amazing array of tropical plants, birds and exotic fish. This mix of peaceful sanctum and urban location results in a really unique venue for up to 150, with the nearby Conservatory Terrace giving views over the exotic greenery and can accommodate 200 people. We have a range of chrome poseur tables and stools that complement these informal locations that have an outdoor feel. There are various other venues available within the Barbican that are perfect for exhibitions and film screenings, with the Milton Court Concert Hall opening in October 2013 providing a modern, contemporary space for meetings, conferences, AGMs and product launches.

Try our price match guarantee for the best hire furniture rates

When you’re looking for affordable event and conference furniture we can help with all your needs, whether you require just a few to thousands of chairs, tables and other items, like stretch barriers and red carpets. Select and pay for your items via our website or simply give us a call and we and process your order and set up your next day delivery.

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