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Thursday31 July 2014

Balfron Tower’s human face

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East London’s Balfron Tower has become the setting for a photo shoot designed to show the connection between the building and its residents.

Artist Simon Terrill invited residents of the Erno Goldfinger-designed concrete tower to display themselves on their balconies and doorsteps and took a series of photographs over two hours. He said the resulting mural-sized photograph, “The Balfron Project”, would “generate an arena for reciprocal viewing”.

The image gives a vivid portrait of the grade II listed tower 44 years after it was completed, allowing people to judge whether Goldfinger’s utopian vision, built close to the Smithsons’ Robin Hood Gardens, was realised.

The photograph is part of an exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery in east London, featuring documentary footage and photographs by Ollie Harrop and Tim Bowditch. The show runs until January 23.

Terrill is part of a wider group of artists living in the tower under a scheme led by the Bow Arts Trust, aiming to introduce a creative community to ex-local authority flats in the area.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • steven harmer

    I did not like this building when it was built and still do not like it.

    Steven

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  • This is such a gorgeous and inspiring building to look at. The brilliantly coloured photographs make it almost surreal. The landscaping is superp and this combined with the walkways truly look other-worldly today. It's nice a photographer gave the community some positive press with this- there are sure to be hundreds of amateurs prowling around the place after this to try and capture its charms. I hope they dont mind them (us) being there...
    My only complaint is the title in suggesting that the building needed to be given a 'human' face that it didnt already have.
    It succeeded in giving the movie 28 Days Later (it's only) three minutes of pleasantness... how much more humanized can you be?

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  • This is a perfect example of a fantastic building, iconic design and great photography.
    Hopefully after the renovation the majority of the community who currently live in these buildings will be allowed to return and benefit from this.

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