Do you love it or hate it? I love it, look how elegant it is, look at its simple rhythms, it's like Meccano, only better.
But it is almost in the square mile. Ten minutes walk to Shoreditch and the bustling and youth and vibrancy ooze out of every middle-class pore waltzing by in brogues; a bar at every turn, little galleries and studios and sweaty nightclubs . . . where is all that around the Barbican?
This is not to say, at all, that I do not love the place (I do), but at a planning level, the scale of intervention needs to be (very) small. It needs small. Small is beautiful. Small is a guy with a burrito van selling them. Small is a little old lady sitting watching the world go by. Small is a cigarette and a coffee and the paper. It needs to be in the streets. It needs to make space for things to happen. It would be an interesting test, to see if the tiny and the vast can coexist comfortably beside one another.
They seem to manage it in New York: