Balfron Tower, Poplar, London

Erno Goldfinger
Date Built
Opened 1967
Brownfield Estate, Poplar
The Grade II Listed Balfron Tower is one of three residential buildings designed by Erno Goldfinger in Poplar, East London, part of the Brownfield Estate. Goldfinger's Balfron Tower, Carradale House and Glenkerry House sit in a cluster on either side of St Leonard’s Road, close to the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel. 

Like the architect’s Trellick Tower, the Balfron features a separate service tower with lifts that service every third floor.  At the top of the service tower is the boiler room. Its chimneys, which were originally made of concrete, were replaced with metal ones in 1985. 

The Balfron stands 84 metres high and contains 146 homes.  Today it is owned by Poplar Harca, a registered social landlord which owns and manages around 8,500 homes in Poplar, East London.  Most of these were transferred from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets between 1998 and 2009.  HARCA stands for Housing and Regeneration Community Association.

According to an article on “” written by Andrea Klettner on September 23, 2013, the Balfron Tower is to be completely refurbished and all flats will be sold on the private market.  Among the attractions will be the amazing view the tower offers.  Open House London say that, “The view from the top spans most of London's skyline including well known London icons such as Tower Bridge, the “Gherkin”, the BT Tower, and even Wembley Stadium on a clear day, as well as out to City Airport, Harolds Hill in Essex and the Thames Estuary to the east.”  They add that, “The “city” side of Balfron Tower remains largely original, featuring floor to ceiling windows and generous balconies with in-built troughs where many families have home “gardens”. Other original interior features include functionally designed metal light switches, metal door frames and door-locks, as well as mysterious doorways into voids running between the flats (which were designed as fire escape routes and also contain through-flow vents for high winds).”