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Trellick Tower – What is all the fuss about, what does the future hold?

Jan 19, 2023

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First things first, we LOVE Trellick Tower. Why? Well, to be honest, it’s quite hard to explain. Its big butch exterior certainly isn’t what you would call, naturally welcoming. It has had 50 years of wear and tear and I don’t think it’s ever had an uplifting lick of paint…ever, but, its Trellick. We all know by now it was built by our Hungarian hero Erno Goldfinger, in 1972. Post-World War Two II, following the destruction of nearly 4 million houses Erno was commissioned to save the day with some high-rise architecture, and he did just that!

Erno was known as a humourless man who often succumbed to fits of notorious rage. Nice! He once forcibly threw two prospective clients out of a meeting because the merely suggested potential changes to one of his designs. I think a lot of his nature came out in his work. To someone who doesn’t know the heart of Trellick, the brutalist architecture looks cold and unwelcoming. In fact, when the building was completed it was well known that it was unpopular amongst residents, the local community and to be honest, most post-modernist architects. So, in short, we have an ugly building, built in an ugly style, by an angry man who had a James Bond character named after him (Auric Goldfinger), so what is all the fuss about?

In 2022  Trellick Tower celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Anyone who attended that event will be able to tell you what is so special about this place. It’s first and foremost best quality is its community. During Thatcher’s premiership in the early 80’s she released her ‘Right to Buy’ scheme that allowed council property residents to purchase their homes. This has allowed a huge diversity and culture within the estate that can rarely be found anywhere else. The Hall of Fame Graffiti Wall is infamous in the community and local area, with the basketball hoops being featured in a host of film, music and TV appearances. I suppose most recently being that of established UK grime artists like Digga D, Central Cee, and AJ Tracy whose talent was incubated by that of the community and surrounding communities of Trellick and other local estates. It is also found featuring in ‘For Queen and County’ with Denzel Washington and it was used in the ‘Bandersnatch’ episode of Black Mirror written by Charlie Brooker.

For all of its short snippets in the limelight that is not what makes Trellick Special. Given the eclectic mix of residents within the building you can find all sorts of weird and wonderful people. At Noahs we believe we have sold one of the most recent apartments in the building in 2020. The new owners have decided to restore the flat to as close to its original construction as possible. Reinstating the original steel skiting boards and architrave, painstakingly removing the plaster off of the walls to get back to the original concrete interior and bring back Erno’s brutalist concept.

What does the future look like for Trellick Tower and the estate on which it stands? Well it has certainly come full circle from its days as a vision of the future to a relic of the past, and back again. Although it has stood for 50 years, at Noahs London we hope it will continue to be an important landmark overlooking London for many more decade to come!