Sir Denys Lasdun's crumbling Keeling House is heading for a reprieve after a mysterious company, called Associate Design and Management Services, bought the building. Work on refurbishment has begun on site.
The block in Bethnal Green was built in 1960 but was emptied six years ago after safety fears. The council, Tower Hamlets, has long wanted to demolish it, but English Heritage prevented the move by listing it Grade II*.
Now the council has sold the building without fanfare to Associate Design and Management Services - untraceable in directory inquiries - for £1.3million. The only notice of the news appeared in 'East End Life', a council in- house tabloid magazine last week. Acting director of Housing for Tower Hamlets said: 'A sum of £1.3million represents a sizeable windfall into the council's budget for this year, and we're also saving all the money we had to spend on security for the building.'
The building was Lasdun's second attempt at the articulated tower after a cluster block at Usk Street in the borough. Keeling features stacked maisonettes separated by bands of concrete, which the architect hoped might remind tenants of the two storey houses in the district.