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THE BARBICAN PATTERNS - A Visual Identity of Their Own

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Following a series of architecturally inspired designs from various European cities, the new print collection from PIPÉT focuses on something much closer to home. For London based designer Gina Pipét, her latest intricate patterns were inspired by this towering residential fortress and it's popular cultural centre. Take a look at the designs below and discover the titles behind each of the prints in the BARBICAN collection. 


Pipet Barbican Fabrics draping

Fabrics from the new BARBICAN Collection by PIPÉT. Photography by Jon Aaron Green.

THE BARBICAN - London's Brutalist Icon.

Inspiration for this collection came from the physical elements seen from different viewpoints within the grounds of the Barbican Estate. Each residential block of the estate has a visually different identity, but is unified by the geometric design elements within the architecture. As with the different houses, blocks and towers each print is uniquely named either directly from a very specific physical element, or as a representation of the ideals.


Barbican Imagery Pipet


"There are various themes appearing within the collection. Illusions of perspective and dimensionality (Storey); fluidity and continuity (Bon); rapid movement on the eye (Barbican Scarf); and questioning what is the foreground or background (Frobisher & Barbecana) are all concepts explored with the patterns. By naming each of the prints accordingly, every design has a unique identity giving a back story to the inspiration". Gina Pipét




Developing the individual patterns is a process that goes hand in hand with the scarf artwork, however I wanted to create a more decorative design that could be worn on the body. When you think of the Barbican one often thinks of Brutalism and what we consider to be rather masculine forms. By carefully selecting the colours, shape and decoration of the pattern, with its adorned borders and central motif the scarf becomes a much softer and more feminine accessory. Frobisher Crescent, with it’s iconic repetitive arches formed the starting point and main source of inspiration for this design. View the Barbican Accessories Collection here.


Pipet Frobisher maxi Black Khaki

2. FROBISHER (MAXI)  Inspired by the impressive barrel vaulted roofs of Frobisher Crescent. The curved white lines of the vaults make up eye-catching undulating pattern. Taken from the Barbican Scarf design, this scaling repeating element plays with the idea of negative and positive, leading to which part of the design jumps to the fore, or sets to the background.


Pipet design Bon Black Khaki

3. BON  Named after the Architects Chamberlin, Powell & Bon who designed the redevelopment of the area in the late 50’s. With its flowing curves, this design looks at the theme of continuity. It regards the unending expanse of windows, the long stretches of balconies and the interminable walkways that weave into a maze for anyone unfamiliar with the residential high walks.



4. VAULT  Looking at the shapes and spacing of the barrel vaulted roofs throughout the Barbican estate. Vault sits in line with that of Andrewes House, Defoe House or Ben Jonson House.



5. LAUDERDALE  A vertically striped design made up of decorative repeating motifs. Reminiscent of the towering heights of the Lauderdale Tower and its stacked balconies.



6. STOREY  There is a 3-Dimensional element to this design, with its vertical stripes and alternating curves. The title Storey is in reference to the relentless levels or storeys of the 3 Barbican towers. In the case of the Cromwell Tower at 43 Storeys and the Lauderdale and Shakespear towers at 44 storeys.



7. BARBECANA  The name of the Barbican comes from the low Latin word ‘Barbecana’ which referred to a fortified outpost or gateway, such as an outer defence of a city or castle or any tower situated over a gate or bridge which was used for defence purposes. This design is strong and bold, with its solid circular link formation reflecting again the vaulted roofs of the estate. The bold stripes running thought the design creates a visual play with the foreground and background.



Learn more about the prints and discover the design inspiration and starting points behind the collection here in our blog post > BEAUTY & THE BEAST - Getting Intimate with London's Brutal Architecture

Pipet Barbican Design Inspiration 



From 09 Jan - 31 Mar 2018 You can see a selection of Barbican prints, patterns and accessories on show at Cult Vision Eyewear specialists.14 Goswell Rd Clerkenwell London EC1M 7AA.  Underground: Barbican.



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