Erno Goldfinger

Erno Goldfinger

Birth
Budapest, Hungary
Death 15 Nov 1987 (aged 85)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England
Plot 3-G
Memorial ID 11427668 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Architect. He was a key member of the architectural Modern Movement after he had moved to the United Kingdom. His name was also the inspiration for the name of ‘James Bond's’ opponent in the 1959 book and later film “Goldfinger”. Erno Goldfinger was born in Budapest. In 1921 he moved to Paris after the collapse, following World War I, of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1923 he went to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des beaux arts, and in the following years got to know many other Paris based architects including Auguste Perret, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. In 1929, before finishing his course, Goldfinger established a partnership and worked on a number of interior designs and an extension to a holiday home at Le Touquet. He and his wife later moved to England in 1934.After the War (appropriately, as a supporter of communism), he was commissioned to build new offices for the Daily Worker newspaper and the headquarters of the British Communist Party. He also built Alexander Fleming House at Elephant and Castle in south-east London for the Ministry of Health. As he was a neighbor in Willow Road, author Ian Fleming's dislike of the design of the house (and the demolition of the previous Victorian properties) prompted him to name the James Bond adversary and villain Auric Goldfinger after Ernõ. Goldfinger consulted his lawyers when the book was published in 1959 (which prompted Fleming to threaten to rename the character 'Goldprick') but eventually decided not to sue; Fleming's publishers agreed to pay his costs and gave him six free copies of the book. Goldfinger was a serious man and sometimes sacked his assistants if they were inappropriately jocular. In an attempt to solve the huge shortage of housing in the country following World War II, in which nearly one in three houses had been destroyed or damaged, the British Government began to see high-rise buildings as a solution, and Goldfinger rose to prominence in England as a designer of tower blocks. Among his most notable buildings of the period were Balfron Tower, 27-floor high (north of the Blackwall Tunnel, in Poplar in the east London Borough of Tower Hamlets), and the adjacent seven-storey Carradale House. These served as models for the design of the similar 31-floor Trellick Tower (in North Kensington; started 1968, completed 1972). Although Goldfinger enjoyed living in his own buildings, they were unpopular both amongst the public and many post-modernist architects. Towards the end of the 20th century his work has become a little more appreciated. Trellick Tower is now a grade II listed building, and the few privately owned apartments within are popular; Balfron Tower and Carradale House are also listed grade II buildings. Following his funeral at Golders Green his ashes were scattered in Section 3-G.

Bio by: Kieran Smith


Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Erno Goldfinger?

Current rating:

20 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kieran Smith
  • Added: 26 Jul 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11427668
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Erno Goldfinger (11 Nov 1902–15 Nov 1987), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11427668, citing Golders Green Crematorium, Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .