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 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.
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