The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Grenfell Tower Fire

C20 Society is shocked by the appalling loss of life and destruction of peoples’ homes in the Grenfell Tower fire. Grenfell Tower was not an architecturally distinguished tower block. It was originally designed by Clifford Wearden Associates, to boost overall housing density levels in an estate which consisted of this single tower and four low-rise finger blocks fanning out from its base. The tower provided decent sized flats, complying with the then-current Parker Morris standards. More information about the estate can be found here.

C20 regularly sees blocks of this period blighted by poor maintenance and inadequately resourced management.  It seems likely that such factors, as well as possible design or construction inadequacies with the recent refurbishment may have had tragic consequences. More research and tight regulation of fire protection measures is clearly necessary as soon as possible, to reassure everyone living in similar blocks; condemning all high rise living is not the correct response.

Catherine Croft