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Balfron Tower, Carradale House, Glenkerry House

Brownfield Estate

Poplar, London, United Kingdom



Ernő Goldfinger


Built to rehouse families displaced by the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel, the Brownfield Estate was designed by Ernö Goldfinger, a Hungarian-born architect and furniture designer at the forefront of the modernist movement. The London County Council approved Goldfinger’s plans in 1959 and by 1965 building was underway for phase one of the development, which included the construction of Balfron Tower, the high-rise concrete tower block shown in this photograph.

Goldfinger wanted his tower to be a “landmark building” with a “high sense of visual drama”. Flats and maisonettes were located on the left-hand side of the block, linked to community service facilities on the right-hand side by an access gallery. These facilities included a launderette, a hobby room and even a jazz room for teenagers. Low-rise developments were built alongside the high-rise block, including homes for the elderly and shops. ‘Brownfield’ was the name of a local doctor whom the street was named after.

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