Sophy is originally from Bath in the west country, but moved to London to study architecture at the Bartlett School, UCL when she was 18. She is a Partner at Hopkins Architects, most famous for Glyndebourne Opera House, Westminster Underground station and the Olympic 2012 Velodrome. Sophy is currently working on a new Campus Center for Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
What drew you to move to the Barbican?
I first visited the Barbican when I was 12 years old on a school field trip, It fascinated me, I’d never seen anything like it coming from ‘classical’ Bath I’ve wanted to live here as long as I can remember. As an architect I really wanted to live in a modern architect designed building. The Barbican is a complete one off, a moment in time and it was a lifetimes work for a group of gifted and single minded architects. There will never be another like it and I doubt that anyone will build anything like it again. Its beautiful, bold and incredibly detailed. Every week I find something new in it, and its like a hill town that you discover for yourself and are constantly exploring.
How long have you lived on the estate?
2 years , I hope forever.
What is your favourite feature of the barbican flats?
The light, the full height windows, the flat layouts are so clever they create a real sense of quality space and movement, even though the floor area is actually fairly modest, Oh and the detailing makes you want to weep , solid timber sliding doors with mechanisms that still work as well as the day they were installed 40 years ago, the staircases and handrails. My only sadness is that I don’t have an original kitchen.
How have you found it living in the barbican estate?
Every day I wake up and can’t believe how fortunate I am.