UCL Urban Laboratory


New website documents Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron Tower

28 April 2015

Balfron Tower

Urban Lab tutor David Roberts has launched a new website that collates his three years of doctoral work with current and former residents of Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron Tower in Poplar, London.

balfrontower.org shares access to all the documents related to Balfron Tower that Roberts gathered over the course of his research. This is displayed in a timeline, from archival records during the tower's design phase in the 1960s to the most recent press articles.

These documents can be intimidating; difficult to access because they are hidden behind archival protocols, journal subscription costs and labyrinthine planning portals; or difficult to grasp because of bureaucratic, academic or legal language.

For ease of understanding, the material is categorised under ten document types and filtered through a dozen questions. The responses to these questions reveal important information that has not yet been reported.

It is hoped that the site may help contribute to an informed public debate on key issues before refurbishment works on the tower are laid out. A planning application for these works is due to be submitted shortly. It has been reported that, following the refurbishment, tenants on social rent will not be permitted to return to their flats in the tower.