Today, at 50, Trellick is viewed as an icon of Brutalist architecture, with a striking design that connects a thin service tower — housing laundries, elevator shafts and a garbage chute — to the main block at every third floor by “sky bridges.”
The structure enables the duplex apartments to be bigger, maximizing living space and reducing noise in what was to be a “vertical village.” The 217 units are dovetailed, interlocking with Escher-like precision, which means, in Ms. Heksel’s words, that “my upstairs neighbor is really two floors above me.”
In 1998, the government granted Trellick landmark status, guaranteeing that the tower would be preserved. “Trellick’s sinister reputation was always exaggerated,” Ms. Heksel said, noting, “it was fashionable to give it bad press.”
Five years ago, the local government demolished Trellick’s nursing home, which was not under the same preservation order, arguing that it did not have adequate restrooms.
That decision greatly upset residents, who pointed out that Goldfinger had been inspired by the famous Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier to create a building that catered to a lifetime of needs.
“It was beautifully designed, and people loved it,” Mr. Benton said. “Think about it: When you’re old, do you want to move six miles away, where no one can visit you? Or would you like to be near the people you love?”