Since its construction in 1972, Goldfinger’s design has been given life by the people who live in the Trellick Triangle

'IDK is working with CoMMET to help residents in Trellick Triangle, an area facing significant change, make their own case for the protection of crucial community spaces and the intangible histories and connections they hold.'

Since 2020, IDK has been working with CoMMET (the Council of Meanwhile, Metronomes, Edenham and Trellick), an organisation of community partners set up to amplify the voices of local residents in the Trellick Triangle and put forward their visions for its future. The Trellick Triangle forms part of the Golborne Ward in North Kensington. It is one of the most deprived wards in the country within one of the most unequal boroughs. It also possesses a distinct heritage, abundant green public spaces, and is home to a community that is socially and culturally rich.

Under current Local Authority plans, the area faces significant changes. CoMMET’s aim is to ensure the plans for the future of Trellick Triangle account for residents’ visions and voices. To help protect the interests of those who live and work in the triangle, we are providing advisory and strategic services which include: organising consultations and workshops, negotiating with local authorities to preserve significant cultural assets and community infrastructure, producing strategy reports and developing enactable co-design principles. The grassroots nature of many of Trellick Triangle’s institutions and groups is complex to navigate and it can be tempting for developers and local authorities to “tidy them up”. Through CoMMET, we are helping the community withstand this pressure by providing them with the capacity necessary to articulate their needs from spatial and organisational perspectives.

Meanwhile Gardens provides a place of rest and communion. It is just one of a number of open spaces established and run by the community that form the backbone of the triangle. Over time, these spaces have grown in importance and come to embody the triangle’s evolving histories. They are receptacles of its heritage.

Our work with CoMMET epitomises the studio’s core principle of thinking about places through people. We see projects that account for and work with what already exists as preferable to those which dismantle everything to start from zero. Social infrastructures hold the built environment together – people give life to places and we exclude them at our peril. This is why, throughout our projects, we explicitly choose heterogeneous, negotiated processes of listening, small-scale experimentation and incremental adjustment.

Since spring 2021, members of Meanwhile Gardens and CoMMET have been running a vegetable growing workshop in a tiny park caught between a B-road turning circle and a railway cutting. A wall which runs round its perimeter maintains the garden’s calm in spite of the nearby traffic and trains. As a community-run hortus inclusus, Elkstone Road Oasis serves as a place to test out ideas and show how small adjustments to public spaces can dramatically improve their function.

Since its construction in 1972, Goldfinger’s design has been built upon and given life by the people who live in the Trellick Triangle. In a collective act that spans decades, the work of the local residents demonstrates one of the most complex forms of design. Recognising its importance and its radically responsive and decentred nature allows for architecture to be seen as more than just buildings. To take an agnostic view of authorship and creativity means the work that makes a place can speak for itself.

The Trellick Triangle is a self-designation coined by CoMMET’s partners which indicates a distinct segment of Golborne Ward with a unique tangible and intangible heritage. The triangle stretches from the Meanwhile community gardens, which were built by local residents on derelict land in the 1970s, to the Edenham and Trellick estates and their immediate surroundings. It is also the home ground of the famous Metronomes Steel Orchestra, whose rehearsal space shares the same building as the gardens office.

At the centre of the triangle, the Trellick Hall of Fame graffiti wall provides a rare place for graffiti artists to meet up and practise.
Grenfell Tower stood on the opposite side of the Westway from the Trellick triangle. One year on from the blaze, the Trellick Hall of Fame graffiti wall became a natural convening point for residents who made a memorial to the many people who lost their lives that terrible night.

At the centre of the triangle, the Trellick Hall of Fame graffiti wall provides a rare place for graffiti artists to meet up and practise. It is especially popular with female artists. On the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Trellick HOF community, local residents and graffiti artists came together to commemorate and celebrate the people who lost their lives that night. A memorial wall now holds the names of all 72 people who died in the blaze.

CoMMET’s aim is to ensure the plans for the future of Trellick Triangle account for residents’ visions and voices.
Sector: Urbanism
Location: Golborn Ward, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London
Services: Community Consultation and Coordination
Date : 2020-(ongoing)
Community Partners:
See a full list of the community partners at
www.commet.org.uk
Project Management: Counterculture LLP