Engineering Apprentice’s Behind The Design Of Famous Urban Music Filming Location

Our digital engineering apprentices have been working on the designs for the renovation of a famous urban music filming location in London known as Balfron Tower.

Known as an embodiment of modern urban living, Balfron tower was designed by architect Erno Goldfinger in 1963 and it was built on the edges of east London between 1965-1967. Grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal grew up in East London, not far from Balfron tower and has since been associated with the 27 storey block. The connection between architecture and music is inevitable; although it is not something people usually consider. Pop singer Dua Lipa and music producer/song writer Mura Masa are both known to be a fan of brutalist architectural settings. Britpop band Oasis have also used Balfron tower as the location for their music video ‘Morning Glory’.

The building is now undergoing a renovation to bring the apartments up to modern housing standards. Our very own sister companies, TDS and D4S are playing a role in different elements of the project. D4S for the structural calculations of the… and TDS for the design and detailing, which has presented an opportunity for our digital engineering apprentices to get involved.


Here’s some quick maths…


Image credit to BBC One extra…


Imagine this, you are working as an apprentice digital engineer and you get given a project to work on the film locations for some of today’s most current artists. This is exactly what TDS apprentices are currently working on at the Construction and Design Centre of Excellence. They have been using CAD software to contribute to the restoration of Balfron tower. Here’s what our apprentice Will has to say about it… ‘Seeing your work being used in a celebrity’s music video is exhilarating, especially when I am passionate about music and my work, seeing them come together is crazy.’ Our apprentices find that working on varying projects is what makes digital engineering so interesting. ‘No project is ever the same…’ 



Why are these rough locations so popular?


The post war architectural style is becoming more and more fashionable and therefore, it’s an opportune moment for brutalist tower blocks such as Balfron to be used as the setting for mainstream pop videos. Typically, if artists use these grimey settings, their music normally matches the setting. For example, rapper and grime artist Slewdem Mafia has filmed one of his most popular music videos ‘nothing like yours’ at Balfron tower and the connection between the music and the setting is clear. Although other bands and celebrities still take interest in Balfron tower, like the popular English rock band ‘The 1975’ also used Balfron tower as the backdrop to their much-loved video ‘Somebody else’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bimd2nZirT4.



Want to get involved?

We have sixty places available each year for our digital engineering apprenticeship. Apply now to find out more on how you can make your mark in the built environment and world we live in. Who knows, you could be working on Drake’s next filming location.

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BY Jordan Connor | 12th November 2018