rain room barbican centre

Let It Rain – Indoors?

December 29, 2012

I wrote this post standing in the queue for the Rain Room. What’s that? Well its an art exhibition held at the Barbican Centre in East London.

Being in between Christmas and New Year and as it had been open since October I thought today would be a quiet day but it seems not. The exhibit has around a two-hour queue as the room only allows about 5 people in at a time.

Currently I’ve gone past the 2 hour wait sign so I’m looking at maybe an hour and a half….plenty time to continue this post. With a queue building up behind me I’m in it for the long haul, slightly reminding me of when I waited for Cadbury’s House at the Olympics Park!

In front of me I have a family who are head to toe in Jack Wills and seem to have brought their electronic goodies they got for Christmas with them of the Apple variety, around them we have families and couples taking a seat on the ground as they wait.  I take in my surroundings of artistic Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling and contemplate giving up and heading to the Martini bar.

barbican centre

So what are we waiting for, that I’m not sure yet, only that it’s a room, full of rain and you don’t get wet…I hope this is worth the wait.

15:54 It’s been 54 minutes now, halfway down the queue and  looking forward to a seat on the floor at the other side of the queue. What’s annoying is they let people in but if a family of five say come up next they wait rather than letting the two people behind them in when they need to make up the numbers…the wait continues…

16:13 Not really moved any further…

16:36 Round the corner of the queue, it’s a straight line now, let’s hope we get in soon…meanwhile downstairs some sort of live pantomime is happening and a Xmas tree on wheels is moving past the queue.

16:53 Nearly at the front. In finding a leaflet I read about the actual exhibition, the Rain Room has been created by Random International which was founded by 3 students of the Royal College of Art.

The Curve room at the Barbican has been transformed by the ‘choreographed downpour and the sound of water’. The room ‘invites you to experience what it’s like to control the rain and put your trust in the work to the test’…or so the leaflet says.

17:06 Still waiting…some girl is taking pictures with a paparazzi style camera of everyone, kind of annoying.

17:17 We are about 10 people away from the door now, roughly nearly been two and a half hours now.

17:36 Front of the queue…the dark room awaits…

rain room barbican

Finally we were let inside the darkly lit room which curved round and all I could hear was the sound of water splashing down, turning that corner in front of me was surprisingly a rain display. Rain pouring down from the panels in the ceiling and falling onto what looked like wet mat panels.

rain room barbican centre

The family ahead in the queue were still playing in the rain so we had to wait till they had come off the display.

When allowed on it was very surreal to stand in rain and not get wet! The panels below or above must have sensors in them so the rain above you on your square stops.

rain room

rain room barbican

rain room barbican

rain room

rain room

p-ho rain room

You really don’t get wet apart from a few drips. I took various pictures in this exhibit to show the effect of the rain, but actually being in it is a completely different experience.

If you can brave the queue and I recommend bringing supplies, it is kind of worth its 15 minutes of fame.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we can receive a commission. 

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    January 3, 2013 at 21:20

    that is really amazing

    • Reply
      January 4, 2013 at 14:24

      It was really cool, definitely something you have to experience!

Leave a Reply