Balfron Tower, Poplar, London

Balfron Tower Poplar, Modern East London Architecture, Housing, Building, News, Development

Balfron Tower

Poplar Housing Redevelopment, London, England, UK – design by Studio Egret West and Ab Rogers

20 Dec 2015

Balfron Tower Planning

Planning Approval for Balfron Tower in London

This controversial redevelopment project has gained planning. The original architect of this Modernist housing was Erno Goldfinger.

Balfron Tower East London

The Architects Journal reports on 18th December 2015 that Ministers had upgraded the listing of the Balfron Tower in Poplar, London, to Grade II* from Grade II.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has also listed the neighbouring Glenkerry House at Grade II.

Balfron Tower London by Goldfinger

DCMS declined to upgrade the 11 storey Carradale House block on the estate from its existing Grade II listing, but will give it an improved list entry.

The department agreed with a recommendation from Historic England not to list the remaining buildings and landscaping on the estate.

Balfron Tower London

Objections to Balfron Tower refurbishment planning application – Report by David Roberts

Objection to proposal PA/15/02554 (October 2015)

Summary of key points

The application should be refused on four grounds based on relevant policy, guidance and precedent:

-Failure to meet statutory affordable housing targets.
-Failure to meet best practice guidelines on inclusive consultation.
-Failure to meet adopted standards defining heritage significance. It is wrong to submit this planning -Failure to meet best practice guidelines on accountable regeneration.

Balfron Tower London Building

Website: Balfron Tower Refurbishment Planning Application Objections

Photos : commons.wikimedia

22 Nov 2015

Balfron Tower in Poplar

Balfron Tower in London

20 Nov 2015 – Controversial changes to the internal layout of Erno Goldfinger’s 1960s Balfron Tower in east London have been recommended for approval by planners, reports the Architects’ Journal.

Website: Balfron Tower, Poplar, London

Balfron Tower Poplar
photograph © Simon Terrill

27 Oct 2015 – The Twentieth Century Society has called for the scrapping of plans by Studio Egret West and Ab Rogers to revamp Erno Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower.

According to the 20th Century Society, “The tabula rasa caused by the Blitz allowed the London County Council (and later the Greater London Council) to embrace the ideal of concentrated living, an anti-utopian model. Over the course of the 1950s to the 1970s, modern architecture spawned Brutalism, an aesthetic that was adopted by Poplar in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets, with Balfron Tower and its neighbouring Robin Hood Gardens estate. Commonly dubbed the “younger sister” of Trellick Tower, Balfron Tower is due for renovation next year, before which residents will have to vacate their properties. Designed by Erno Goldfinger and built in 1967, Balfron gained Grade II listing in 1996.

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photo: The iconic Balfron Tower in the middle of Poplar – designed by Ernő Goldfinger in 1963

In 1968 architect Erno Goldfinger moved into flat 130 on the top floor, where he and his wife hosted parties fuelled with champagne, where residents were invited to discuss their flats and how they could be improved. Equipped with this knowledge, Erno Goldfinger went onto design the taller and more famous Trellick Tower in West London. As such, the spatial design of Trellick is a further continuation of inhabitants’ movements. Doors slide into walls, rooms partition into different spaces and windows rotate for cleaning – an appropriation of space is acquired by both body and architecture in a dynamic display; the dance of the everyday.”

Website: Balfron Tower, Poplar, London

Trellick Tower in North Kensington designed by Erno Goldfinger was made Grade II* status in 1998.

16 Jun 2014
Festival of Architecture 2014, London – Mending Modernist Mistakes

A challenging two-week showcase, held at the London Festival of Architecture.

Denmark is one of ten countries choosen to be represented at the showcase, which deals with creating new proposals to improve the modernistic planned area in East London called Poplar.

Balfron Tower at Festival of Architecture 2014, London

Niahm Tuft, Programme Manager at the British Council, said: “Something that also makes this assignment special is, that the ten international architects will take residence in the iconic Balfron Tower during the showcase. In that way they get a taste of what it’s like to live in Poplar. ”

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picture: Rune Veile overlooking London and Poplar from the top of the iconic Balfron Tower

Whether there will be interesting debates, only time will tell. The showcase kicked off monday 9th of June and the results will be announced at a large event on June 21st in the Balfron Tower.

The showcase is an annual recurring event and one of the main attractions at the London Festival of Architecture. The showcase lasts 2 weeks where the participants will develop an architectural project that will be put on display. During the workshop, the ten participating countries will stay in Balfron Tower.

Another London tower building design by architect Ernő Goldfinger

Trellick Tower Building
Trellick Tower Building in London
photo from SPID Theatre


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Website: Balfron Tower, Poplar, London