James & Lucy

Can you tell me about yourself?

James is originally from Cornwall, but has moved between Portishead, the Australian Gold Coast, Amsterdam and Qatar before settling in the Barbican.
Lucy is from Swanley in Kent and has never lived outside of London.

What is your occupation?

James is a business development manager at a digital agency. 

Lucy started work as a database developer, but decided to change career direction, so studied for an MSc at UCL and now works as a user experience designer at Expedia. She is a partner at The Great Divide mens online clothing shop, which she looks after in her spare time.  

What drew you to move to the Barbican?

Lucy has a friend who moved into her mum’s flat on the Golden Lane Estate, which she visited and got extreme flat envy.

James was brought up in a quiet suburb of Bristol and wanted to get as far away from that as possible. The Barbican, with its concrete towers was always somewhere he’d dreamed of living, but never thought possible until he met Lucy. 

How long have you lived on the estate?

Lucy moved to Ben Jonson House in 2012, then to Thomas More House in 2013. We moved in together in 2014 in our current flat in Andrewes House. We would love to buy a flat, but can’t save up a deposit while we are paying Barbican rents. 

What is your favourite feature of the barbican flats?

The huge windows. Our flat in Andrewes has my favourite of all Barbican windows, the ground floor lounge is double height, faces the lake and has an inverted arch window. Watching ducks out the window is a pure joy. Everyone who sees it agrees it’s a stunner. The bulky rubbish disposal corners are also pretty special too. You can get rid of your junk, but also find some treasures. We have rescued a set of school hall chairs, a solid oak tall boy, Roberts radio and a huge PA system.

How have you found it living here?

We make the most of it by wandering around the waterfall and residents’ gardens, and try to visit the arts centre as much as possible. It can get noisy and dusty from all the outside building work, but it’s such a contrast on Sundays when it is still and peaceful. Everyone who lives and visits here cares for it.

It feels very cherished.