A chance to snoop round Ernö Goldfinger’s iconic Balfron Tower flat

In a delicious twist on Through The Keyhole-style snooping into other people’s houses, The National Trust is offering people the chance to have a nosey round a rather iconic flat.

Flat 130 at Balfron Tower with National Trust London

Source: courtesy Edward Haynes

Flat 130 at Balfron Tower with National Trust London

Next month, the organisation is opening up Flat 130 in Ernö Goldfinger’s Brutalist Balfron Tower – where the architect himself lived for a fortnight back in 1968 with the aim of showing people just how great it is to live in the high-rise building he designed.

For the public opening, Wayne and Tilly Hemingway were enlisted to deck out the space in the style of a 1968 council flat.

As such, it’s all eye-poppingly bright colours and patterns, with some stunning furniture and homeware on show. There’s even a picture of The Beatles gazing down over an imagined fan’s bedroom, complete with bedcover bedecked with the faces of the Fab Four.

Flat 130 at Balfron Tower with National Trust London

Source: courtesy Edward Haynes

Flat 130 at Balfron Tower with National Trust London

From the images we’ve seen, it’s almost like a film-set, with the table laid ready for the visitors to star in their own little imaginary 1960s movie.

Designed by Goldfinger in 1963, the 27-storey high Poplar building is seen as the less-famous ‘sister’ to west London’s Trellick Tower; and both were built as somewhat idealistic solutions to post World War II housing shortages.

The National Trust says: “Balfron Tower, along with Trellick Tower, is a testament to a particular moment in time when a vision of a utopian post-war Britain coincided with Brutalism ­ an architectural movement that indelibly changed the landscape of our urban environment. 

Flat 130 at Balfron Tower with National Trust London

Source: courtesy Edward Haynes

Flat 130 at Balfron Tower with National Trust London

“The National Trust already cares for Goldfinger’s own home in Hampstead, 2 Willow Road, so Balfron Tower is the logical choice for the Trust’s first foray into Brutalism.” 

A number of events have been taking place at the Tower recently, including a printing workshop with Leonie Lachlan.

We popped down to the Open Studio’s weekend a few weeks ago – have a look at what we found here.

Flat 130 Balfron Tower is open from 1 – 12 October at Balfron Tower, Poplar,   London E14 0QT

Balfron Tower
Balfron Tower

Latest articles