Bringing the Midas touch to unwanted furniture, Goldfinger Factory is an innovative social enterprise that provides a platform for designers, makers and education on all things craft. For our Heal’s Modern Craft Market: Made in London, they bring their award-winning West London workshop to our flagship store with a host of beautifully crafted and unique pieces for you to take home and be loved once more.
Of course, like Heal’s, the Goldfinger Factory is much more than simply a furniture store. To really get a feel for what they are all about one must pay a visit to their West London showroom and café, both of which are housed within the ever so chic Trellick Tower in Kensal Town alongside their workshops and academy.
A modernist monolith, Trellick Tower has gone from a carbuncle on London’s landscape to being seen as an icon of the postwar era whose spacious flats, conveniently situated in Ladbroke Grove, are now much sought after. The building is the work of Hungarian-born architect Ernö Goldfinger, whose other masterpiece includes the National Trust owned 2 Willow Road (one local resident who went by the name of Ian Fleming had such a dislike to Goldfinger’s modernist style that he named one James Bond’s arch nemesis after the architect).
Finished in 1972, Trellick Tower is a 31 story housing block designed in the Brutalist style and is based on Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower in Poplar, which was built a few years earlier in 1967. The building epitomises the post-war trend for high-rise living as a solution to London’s housing shortage at the time, however, by the time it was completed the utopian vision had turned sour with the public proving increasingly hostile to such futuristic architecture. Added to this, rising crime levels and neglect to the upkeep of the building saw it fall into a severe state of disrepair. Thankfully, as property prices began to rise in the eighties and nineties so to did the fortunes of Trellick Tower, which eventually received the Grade II listed status it deserved in 1998.
Multicoloured furniture by Rasha El-Sady
The Goldfinger Factory not only takes its name from the iconic architect but is also inspired by the story of Trellick Tower in the way it gives new life to neglected pieces of design. Upcycling is at the heart of everything (the studio motto is turning ‘waste into gold’) with a showroom packed full of one-off pieces plus a bespoke service with furniture made from your choice of entirely reclaimed materials or a combination of old and new. Believing that ‘waste is just a resource in the wrong hands,’ each design is made in-house using waste materials collected from London’s numerous landfill and construction sites or from sustainable FSC registered sources when required.
Besides the stunning designs on show, what makes the Goldfinger Factory really special is the way in which it uses craft as a means to improve people’s lives. Through the learning academy and makers workshops (both of which are buried away underneath the building), the social enterprise is able to provide skills training that is aimed at helping local people gain or return to employment as well as offer designers, makers and craftspeople a platform to develop and sell bespoke furniture and interiors. All profits from the sale of the furniture are reinvested back into the scheme meaning that every piece purchased from the Goldfinger Factory is helping to make a difference.
Clocks by Ben Wadhams of Fellow Designs
Situated on the ground level of the building on Golborne Road, next door to the showroom you will find a bustling café, which is not only a great place to grab a coffee and a snack but also acts as a ‘food incubation’ platform that supports local food entrepreneurs and chefs. Curated by chef Bain-Marie, the ever-changing line-up offers a wide range of culinary delights with current pop-up Panella serving mouthwatering Sicilian street food.
In return, that month’s restauranteurs offer their services to events in aid of the local community such as the People’s Kitchen – a monthly feast made from surplus food collected from local bakeries and markets. You can even get involved in making the food and all donations to the meal go to local charity Mary’s meals. Now that’s what we call comfort food!
Designed by Catherine Stolarski, the Goldfinger Factory’s Offcut necklaces were created as a way of minimising waste in the workshop, melding a minimalist design and a commitment to thoughtful consumption. In this workshop, you will learn the techniques to make your own unique necklace to add to your jewellery collection.
Where: Heal’s Tottenham Court Road
When: Saturday 6th May, 14:00-16:00