Brutalist Brilliance

On Monday afternoon I received something in the mail which was initially quite confusing, and then suddenly special and very, very clever.

This wonderful and thoughtful surprise inspired me to go and take some photos of one of my favourite buildings in London.

Many people argue about this building, and whether it is iconic or an eye-sore. To me with its space-age, brutalist good looks and jumble of balconies reminiscent of so many Hong Kong apartment blocks, it feels like much more than building, but like a community in the sky, presiding over the surrounding areas.

I’ve written here before about the HBO Voyeur website, it feels like if you could peel away the walls and look inside, the life behind this mess of balconies and satellite dishes would be fascinating. Actually one of the top floor apartments is  for sale with a pretty decent view!

It also oddly reminds me of a bee hive, which is interesting because someone else has had the same idea, but actually done something about it!

Briefly (and you can read much more about the Trellick Tower here), the building was built the same year that I was born (perhaps that is why I like it?), and had a starring role in the Oasis video Morning Glory. What really makes it cool though is that it was designed by Erno Goldfinger who had the famous film character named after him by his mate Ian Flemming.

So attached below is my little impromptu photo essay, sadly limited by the availability of light today. Hopefully I have done some justice to what I believe to be one of the most special buildings in London, even more special now.

Copyright 2010 Caspar Schlickum

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Categories: Design


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2 Comments on “Brutalist Brilliance”

  1. May 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Love it. Your blog might “unfocussed” (to use your own word) but it delivers pleasant surprises like this one. That’s why i will return.

  2. May 11, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    Can’t believe the council refused to give planning permission to turn the plant room at the top into a penthouse flat – it would have been amazing.

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