ABSTRACT OF PAPER FOR ICOMOS CONFERENCE IN MADRID, JUNE 2011
Erno Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower in the north of Kensington and Chelsea is a Council owned listed building in social tenancy that is facing problems of funding conservation and maintenance programmes. One of many ‘solutions’ to this has been a suggestion to sell the building to a private developer; this is being heavily resisted by residents and local Councillors alike. New approaches need to be found. This paper reviews the debates and controversies surrounding this scheme under the headings of SOFT – HARD – and PLASTIC. Beginning with issues of the conservation and reinstatement of social purpose, meaning and identity, and how these can both complicate and clarify motivating forces, the paper then turns to the physical and material conservation issues that define it, and finally the need for ongoing efficient management and financial stability, without which the building could again fall into disrepair.