A temporary print space in Balfron Tower

East London’s big, Brutalist and for many, rather beautiful, Balfron Tower’s history has been as fascinating as it has been sad.

Leonie Lachlan, Balfron Tower poster
Leonie Lachlan, Balfron Tower poster

Designed by Erno 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.

Some of Lachlan's previous work - The Modulors2, etching and collagraph
Some of Lachlan’s previous work – The Modulors2, etching and collagraph

Over the years it’s been loved, hated and dilapidated and restored; but now illustrator  Leonie Lachlan will be placing design back at the heart of the building in a new printmaking residency at the space before refurbishment begins.

Lachlan, the designer behind the beautiful City Cypher guides, has created her own temporary studio within one of the building’s flats, from which she will be printing and drawing throughout September.

Leonie Lachlan, Balfron Tower
Leonie Lachlan, Balfron Tower

This weekend she will also be running the first of two printmaking workshops. During these, Lachlan will work with both beginner and experienced printmakers on creating works inspired by Balfron Tower, using techniques including drypoint, embossing and bookmaking.

The debut is only open to 11-16 year olds, but those of us in our post-Year 11 days can join in the next session on 13 September. To book either session click here.

Some of Lachlan's previous work - from The Modulors series, Untitled (units), stencil monoprint
Some of Lachlan’s previous work – from The Modulors series, Untitled (units), stencil monoprint

At the end of her time in the tower, Lachlan will be exhibiting her creations at an exhibition entitled The Ordered Shell, which will also be at the site. As well as showing the work completed during the residency, she will also be previewing drawings made in preparation for her new book, City Cypher: London from Balfron Tower.

The residency is part of the Balfron Season (more on that here), which will be hosting a series of events including an Open Studios this weekend.

Workshops are running on 6 and 13 September, and The Ordered Shell takes place on 20 and 21 September at Balfron Tower, Poplar, London E14 0QT

 

 

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