Trellick Tower was completed in 1972.
Trellick Tower, when built, was the highest residential building in Europe [it remains the tallest building in Kensington & Chelsea]. The Edenham Estate, designed by the Hungarian born architect Erno Goldfinger, was to be ‘an integrated living unit’ containing, in addition to the tower with 175 flats, terraces of houses, a residential home and sheltered flats for elderly people, shops, a nursery, a playground, a doctor’s surgery, a pub and an underground car park. A striking feature of the 31 storey block was the linked service tower containing lifts, stairs, rubbish chutes and, at the top, a cantilevered boiler house. The building aroused conflicting feelings from the moment it was built. Some hated it. 
The Financial Times, in 1984, rated it one of the ugliest buildings in the world.*
Brian Westbury remembered: “When Trellick Tower went up it was very unpopular. It didn’t matter whether it was by a famous architect or not. People generally hated it. It was seen as soulless and an eyesore in relationship to the largely human scale three storey buildings. Also there were problems with lifts breaking down, electricity, water, whatever it was, it always seemed to be something. There were problems with the nursery school below where people threw bottles out of windows, but I think a lot of people’s objection was aesthetic – they just didn’t like the look of it.”
Others loved the tower, which was opened to the first tenants in 1972, referring to its austere beauty and fortress-like quality.
Campaigns by the residents’ association, which was formed in 1984, led to major improvements to the electricity and heating, and to the security of the building. A number of tenants bought their own flats and, over the last decade, Trellick Tower has come into its own. Flats now change hands for substantial sums of money and, to crown the transformation, English Heritage has made the tower a Grade 2 listed building. 

 - From Kensal Village to Golborne Road: Tales of the Inner City’ by Jerome Borkwood (Kensington & Chelsea Community History Group 2002)

* FT redeemed itself with the following linked article in 2016, entitled Myth of the brutal, blighted concrete tower.
"The middle-class invasion of brutalist former council flats belies the myth that postwar estates were a failure. The razing of other estates comes from a longstanding bias against both modernism and public housing that fails to distinguish between good and bad. It also releases valuable inner-city land on which developers can build at greater density, with more cramped internal space standards, erasing green spaces and established communities."
- FT, January 2016. The writer is the author of ‘Concretopia:
A Journey Around the Rebuilding of
Postwar Britain’


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