A Street Art Journey to the Trellick Tower in West London

The Trellick Tower is a grade II listed building in the Royal borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Designed by architect Erno Goldfinger it was completed in 1972 and based on the Balfron Tower, his earlier and slightly small previous version in Poplar, East London.

A short walk along the canal from Westbourne Park tube station and the tower soon comes into sight dominating the local area. Nestled to the side, in the concrete enclosed former communal sports area there is a now a legal graffiti spot which has become a favourite location for writers from around London and further afield.

The graffiti wall at the Trellick Tower
The graffiti wall at the Trellick Tower

The tower itself is a famous landmark, beloved of movie crews and photographers wanting to find a gritty backdrop for their latest shoot. It was the location for the movie Shopping with Jude Law and Sadie Frost and is a favoured spot for the likes of musician Damon Albarn with the tower making guest appearances in a number of music videos. It was also the home of Tommy ‘Tucker’ Watson in the Grange Hill spin off ‘Tuckers Luck’.

It’s the brutalist design of the building that does it, a design that has actually become quite iconic, something that the grade II listing has emphasised. Not particularly a building that has enamoured locals since it’s creation, as the area has improved over the years it has become more and more accepted.

Tags on the walls
Code tags on the walls

Walking to the tower wasn’t quite what I had expected. Taking a left from the Westbourne Park tube station it’s only a few metres to the Regents Canal where the towpath leads straight to the tower clearly visible in the distance. On one side the canal is well tended with narrowboats and wildfowl bobbing up and down on the water. On the other, attempts to bring the natural environment back into the area with a series of nature trails have contributed to the softening of the area.

In terms of the graff world, the Trellick Tower is one of the places to be. Taking it’s spot alongside the likes of the Leake Street Tunnel in Waterloo and the Stockwell Hall of Fame near Brixton it was perhaps once a little more edgy than it is today but still if your interested in seeing the rawest form of graff then this is where you should be.

The Trellick Tower was visited on Saturday 10 January 2015. It is one of a number of legal graffiti spots in London including the Stockwell Hall of Fame and the Leake Street Tunnel in Waterloo. If you know any of the artists featured in the images please let me know via the comments and I will update the captions.

The Trellick Tower Hall of Fame Gallery

The 98 metre tall tower with graffiti wall
The 98 metre tall tower with graffiti wall
Visiting just after the terrorist events against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.  Graffiti writers had already paid tribute at the tower with this 'Je Suis Charlie' tag
Visiting just after the terrorist events against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Graffiti writers had already paid tribute at the tower with this ‘Je Suis Charlie’ tag
Painted bins at the tower
Painted bins at the tower
Code tag on the graffitit wall
Code tag on the graffitit wall
Crazy mushroom type creature in the Hall of Fame
Crazy mushroom type creature in the Hall of Fame
Evil santa in the Hall of Fame
Evil santa in the Hall of Fame
Van reflections in the car park
Van reflections in the car park
The basketball court is still functional but full of tags
The basketball court is still functional but full of tags
Looking up at the tower
Looking up at the tower
Enigma tag
Enigma tag
Street art and the Hall of Fame
Street art and the Hall of Fame
View towards the tower
View towards the tower
Art in the hall
Art in the hall
Looking up to the tower
Looking up to the tower
Close up of Pez work near to the tower on the canal
Close up of Pez work near to the tower on the canal
Code tag on the canalside near to the tower
Code tag on the canalside near to the tower
Pez art on the canalside near to the tower
Pez art on the canalside near to the tower
The entrance to the tower
The entrance to the tower

4 Comments

  1. Hi Stuart Another interesting article – I first found and photographed this place back in the mid-1980s, so I think it’s one of the longest running halls of fame in London, especially since the nearby The Pit gave way to flashy apartments a couple of years back… Bye for now, Paul Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2015 18:06:54 +0000 To: pauln53@hotmail.com

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