Where indoors meets outdoors

27 Jan 2020 | Culture

Where indoors meets outdoors

By Eve Cowan

I have to admit I didn’t quite stumble across this one when out in the wild, more so that I was mindlessly internet scrolling when it appeared on my timeline - ‘London’s secret conservatory’. How ‘secret’ it actually is, is questionable, but nonetheless it excited me - I’m always up for a good Insta pic opportunity.

The conservatory lives on the third floor of the Barbican centre, around the fly tower of the theatre. If you have ever visited the brutalist building of the Barbican you will appreciate how finding the second largest conservatory in London within its walls comes at quite a shock. But that’s what makes it so special, the concrete and brick and 1500+ species of plants living together in harmony.

There are two main sections to the conservatory, one filled with tropical plants, fruit trees and koi carp and the other for succulents and cacti (warning: the cacti are BIG and need to be dodged in some places!) There are a few benches dotted about which is great for when inspiration strikes and you just have to whip the sketchbook out.

I think it’s safe to say the Barbican conservatory reigns supreme in the ‘bringing the outdoors in’ category; it has certainly inspired me in the flat-decoration department. Apparently having 1500 species of plant in one 40m² flat is not practical, but I can definitely try.

So, if you fancy doing something that’s not too strenuous, I would wholeheartedly recommend this wonderful place. It’s free to visit too (just check their website for opening times).


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