Usually during Openhouse I am armed with my book and can be found rushing around London desperate to see as many of the amazing buildings that normally don't have public access. However this year was pretty special as I was able to take part with my flat at Balfron Tower. It was a really busy weekend and the public were free to explore a lot of the tower as it also coincided with Bow Arts open studios. Balfron Tower, designed by Erno Goldfinger, was designed as a part of a project to rebuild the badly bombed East End parts of London. The building was completed in 1967 and listed as Grade II in 1996, Balfron Tower took part in this event due to its important historical purpose. For the momentous occasion I made a Victorian and brutalist inspired fern case called 'BALFRON BOX' which I showcased during the weekend. I also had most of my products placed in situ around the flat.
BALFRON BOX is a contemporary version of a Victorian Fern Case, inspired by Haidee's home in the listed Brutalist Tower. After the great exhibition of 1851 Fern cases and Terrariums became immensely popular, Ferns and then orchids were displayed in people homes as a show of opulence. BALFRON BOX pays homage to this time and to Erno Goldfinger the architect of the iconic Building in Poplar, which is currently on decant before its refurbishment.
The Box is made from a clear green and frosted green acrylic giving the feel of glass and allowing maximum light to the plants inside. Though it is the designers interpretation of the building the architectural details are remarkably accurate, including the fortress style windows in the service shaft. The box will comfortably take two 10cm diameter plant pots where ferns and orchids or any plant that enjoys a bit of humidity will flourish.
Open House London is a once a year chance to explore hundreds of inspiring buildings in every neighborhood in London for free, organised by Open-City. There are over 800 buildings, neighborhood walks, architects' talks, and much more. It started in 1992 as a small, not-for-profit organisation to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital's building design and architecture. The intention was to open up London's splendid buildings to the general public who don't otherwise have access. They saw this as a way of helping the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engage in dialogue and make informed judgments on architecture.
FLAT NO37 AT BALFRON TOWER