Henrion Street Sculpture

Restoration of the sculpture

The Elms estate was built by Wates in 1961. The sign was erected at the entrance and was designed by FHK Henrion (1914-1990), a celebrated 20th century graphic designer. Born in Germany to a Jewish family, after leaving school in 1933 Henrion moved to Paris and worked in textile design before studying with poster designer Paul Colin. In 1936 he set up his studio in London. During WWII he was interned on the Isle of Man as an alien, but subsequently worked for the Ministry of Information and the US Office of War Information, designing posters for war campaigns.

Made a British citizen after WWII, Henrion specialised in graphic and industrial design and typography and by the 1960s had become the founding father of modern corporate identity in Europe. Some of his most familiar designs include the logos for Tate + Lyle, KLM, the National Theatre & C&A. Many of his corporate identities designed in the 1970s and 1980s are still in use today.

The sculpture is in a state of steady degradation with corrosion affecting the steel and the aluminium. There have been later repairs in inappropriate materials. Restoration will require the dismantling of a significant part of the structure in order to reach and renew the failing fixings and treat the more inaccessible areas. Decisions on finish and colour will need to be discussed and agreed after some further investigation and historic research.

whitechapel 2.jpg