I recently took an impromptu trip to London for a bit of inspiration hunting. After a 6 hour journey on what can only be described as the warmest coach in Britain, my first destination was the innovative Boxpark in Shoreditch. Opened in 2011, the self proclaimed ‘worlds first pop-up mall’ is created entirely from shipping containers and was the brainchild of fashion brand Boxfresh creator Roger Wade. The successful intention was to create flexible and affordable spaces for independent retailers and to bring fashion and creativity back to the street. The space caters for street food retailers, pop up fashion brands, venues for hire, and event spaces for performance, and has become a cool staple for creatives across London. On assessment of the space, it may not have worked for any other type of clientele, but the ingenious ways that creative minds have showcased their products allows each otherwise identical container to feel entirely unique. The black and white backdrop of the structure allows the brightly coloured offerings to really stand out. It is also very apparent that the attitudes of the store workers creates a welcome and friendly atmosphere which cant always be guaranteed on a generic high street.
A short walk from Boxpark is The Barbican Centre; a Grade II listed incredible example of Brutalist architecture. Opened in 1982, it was developed on an area of London that was devastated by bombing in the second world war by architect Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and is the largest multi-arts and conference centre in Europe. The complex houses a theatre, concert hall, exhibition space, gallery, library, three restaurants, and a cinema. Firstly the architecture is amazing to be in, the dominating structures that make up the Barbican are picture perfect at every angle and the apartment buildings provide plenty of home envy! While I didn’t have to time visit any exhibitions or to catch a movie, this first visit has definitely sparked a wish to back and properly experience the place.