BALFRON TOWER IS A 26 STOREY TOWER BLOCK IN POPLAR, EAST LONDON, CONCEIVED IN 1963 BY HUNGARIAN ARCHITECT ERNŐ GOLDFINGER. IT IS THE OLDER BROTHER OF THE VISUALLY SIMILAR AND MORE FAMOUS TRELLICK TOWER IN WEST LONDON.
Over the years, whilst the public’s disdain for ‘concrete monstrosities’ has increased, Balfron has stood out, thanks to its high build quality and distinctive appearance that separated it from the myriad of monolithic tower block designs which dominated post-war social housing architecture. In 1996, Balfron Tower was granted Grade II listed status, and will undergo a major refurbishment in early 2015.
I recently had the opportunity to photograph the building and exhibit in one of the apartments as part of an arts season held prior to the major redevelopment. I have become interested in how the social interpretation and function of the building has changed dramatically since its conception and how market forces, ‘place-branding’ and marketing have affected the original ideology behind the building.