Monday, 25 October 2010
As well as being a symbol for the by-gone era of high-rise brutalist buildings, Trellick became synonymous with social problems, ranging from racial tension to troubled youths, in its notorious heyday.
The Guardian says: "One Christmas, vandals on the 12th floor opened the fire hydrant and unleashed thousands of gallons of water into the lifts, blowing fuses and leaving the block without electricity, heat, water or toilet facilities. Grind up another three floors and you would be where a 27-year-old woman was dragged from the lift and raped. Down the same corridor a depressed young mother jumped to her death. On the 21st floor, an 11-year-old girl was dragged from a lift into the chute room and attacked."
(Read the rest of The Guardian's article here - it's fantastic)
The tower of tightly packed flats, with the separate lift tower bringing people every third floor, was designed by Erno Goldfinger (who based his design on the Trellick's little sister - the Balfron Tower in east London) in 1966 for the Greater London Council. Construction was completed in 1972.
Its 31 storeys contain 217 flats, some of which now sell for almost £500,000. One is for sale now, on the 30th floor.
From this walkway I also see, for the first time, the recreational area at the base of the tower, from which the above flats seem to grow.
It is completely cut off from any kind of street with passing traffic, and no people could ever really know what was going on down here. There is no doubt that it is spaces like this that contributed to the general malaise of the building.
But the video I'm posting here is Depeche Mode's 'Little 15'. Just because I love Depeche Mode (and the first two minutes all centre around the building).