A Kensington Society talk:

Trellick Tower and other tall buildings in the modern urban space

When: Wednesday 1 May 2024, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Where: Committee Room 1, Kensington Town Hall

Kensington Society’s event season starts with a fascinating talk by architect James Dunnett about tall buildings, how they have developed and how they may contribute to the city landscape. James was the last architectural assistant to Ernő Goldfinger 1973-75, just after Goldfinger had completed one of his most famous buildings, Trellick Tower in North Kensington, and he is extremely knowledgeable on the subject.

James studied architecture at Cambridge (as well as sculpture at St Martin’s under Sir Antony Caro). When he studied the architecture of Le Corbusier at Cambridge, he was impressed by Le Corbusier’s belief that – to quote James – “‘tall(er) buildings’, if used in the right way (not the case anywhere now), could be of benefit to mankind”.

After Cambridge, his first architect job was with Ernő Goldfinger, who knew and was influenced by Le Corbusier and was the designer of the listed Balfron Tower in east London and Trellick Tower in North Kensington, so James is well qualified to talk about the value and importance of tall apartment buildings. Since 1983 he has run his own architect practice, which specialises in the restoration and renovation of both historic and modern domestic properties, often in conservation areas, has taught at both Canterbury and Oxford, and was joint chair of the UK branch of Docomomo International from 2002 to 2010.

All of this has made him an important contributor to the current debates on major inner city developments. With two major development areas in the borough, at Earls Court and Kensal, and the persistent vacant sites in front of Trellick Tower, what he has to say on the subject is both illuminating and stimulating. 

For those who want to know more about both Goldfinger and James’ personal recollections of him, there is a 85 minute video lecture on Goldfinger that James did in 2023 for Docomomo UK and the 27 minutes long 2017 BBC Radio 4 programme “I Was Erno Goldfinger’s Last Architectural Assistant”, where James talks very candidly about his life and relationship with Goldfinger.

We feel that this is a talk really worth attending, so do come! There will be an opportunity to ask questions and we will have a drink afterwards!​.

Members £15.00, non-members £20.00

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One of Ernő Goldfinger’s most famous buildings, Trellick Tower in North Kensington, will of course feature in James’ talk.

The talk will be in Committee Room 1, Kensington Town Hall.

Page published 08/04/2024