Battersea Power Station opens to the public
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Battersea Power Station opens to the public

After the ribbon cutting on October 14, 2022, visitors will be able to enjoy shops, cafes, restaurants, and green spaces

Wilkinson Eyre

Battersea Power Station opens to the public
By Editorial Staff -

Visionary and ambitious, the Battersea Power Station project is part of one of the largest redevelopment projects ever to take place in London. The area, southwest of Central London and across the Thames from the historic Chelsea district, will be the epicenter of a vibrant new mixed-use urban development.

Covering an area of almost 42 acres (17 h), the project includes shops, new homes, restaurants, offices, events spaces, and outdoor public spaces. While Battersea Power Station is easily reached from Central London by bus or bike, to provide better access from the rest of the city, the Northern Line was extended to Battersea and a new Underground station was built.


Restoring the historical Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station, London, Historic Image ©Ian Lidell, courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre

The project for the refurbishment of the power station was intended to transform the building into a new space for events, shops, restaurants, cafes, and offices (occupied by Apple and SharkNinja), along with a unique viewing platform, accessible via an elevator inside one of the chimneys. Before it was decommissioned in 1983, the Grade II* listed building, designed by British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, generated one-fifth of London’s electricity, powering some of the capital’s most iconic buildings, including the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Wilkinson Eyre, part of the renovation project team, has been in charge of the building’s refurbishment since 2013. While its designs respect the integrity of the building’s industrial heritage, they’ve also created a new, state-of-the-art development. The key features of the building have been retained and enhanced, with the entire project characterized by a balanced juxtaposition of bricks with glass, and historic ceramic tiles with contemporary steel. Approximately 1.8 million bricks were purchased for the original structure, making it one of the largest brick buildings in Europe.

By preserving the existing building fabric and finishes, the main volumes of the building are being used to their best advantage. Occupying all three internal levels, restaurants, shops, and event spaces will create a vibrant atmosphere. High-quality, flexible office spaces will occupy the six floors of the boiler house, with a design intended to attract creative tenants interested in new ways of working, open plan spaces, and an industrial aesthetic. At the center of the office area, a skylight will bring natural light into the offices below while revealing views of the towering chimneys above. The chimneys, truly iconic features of the building, were dismantled and rebuilt between 2014 and 2017 using the original construction methods. In one of these chimneys, Lift 109 will carry up to 30 visitors at a time to a viewing platform at the top, with 360-degree views across London.

Battersea Power Station, Wilkinson Eyre ©Hufton and Crow, courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre

The residential units, in a range of different sizes, are a mixture of newly built apartments and penthouses, as well as conversions located within the existing fabric of the power station.

The accommodation occupies both Switch House West and Switch House East, as well as a central position on top of the Boiler House around a roof garden. Featuring an elegant industrial style that reflects the history of the building, the interiors were designed by London-based interior designers Michaelis Boyd Architects.


From Circus West Village to Electric Boulevard: the different stages of the project

Battersea Power Station courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre

The Power Station is the second phase of a larger redevelopment project of eight phases, with each one overseen by internationally famous architects and engineers. The first chapter to take shape was Circus West Village in 2013, a large residential development that offers an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, gyms, and leisure facilities. Designed by SimpsonHugh and Partners and De Rijke Marsh Morgan (dRMM), Circus West Village also has large public spaces that provide access to Battersea Park and Chelsea via a new riverside path.

The third phase is one of the most interesting parts of the entire project, involving the construction of a pedestrian area to connect the new Underground station to the Power Station and a new main street dubbed Electric Boulevard. Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners worked together on this phase, with the design of residential developments on either side of the main road: Prospect Place and Battersea Roof Garden. Shops and restaurants are located along Electric Boulevard, along with other public spaces, including Prospect Park, which overlooks the southern side of the power station and Malaysia Square.


The future of the redevelopment project

Battersea Power Station, Turbine Hall B ©Backdrop Productions, courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre

The final stages to complete the redevelopment and its planning will soon be the subject of more detailed design work. Over the past ten years, the masterplan, created by Rafael Viñoly Architects, has consistently responded to the opportunities and challenges that have arisen during the construction of this new neighborhood and center of attraction. Arup, responsible for updates as the project has evolved, has the task of continuing to ensure that the project keeps in step with the times by integrating new technological and design innovations.

This nine billion-pound project is all about creating a vibrant center of attraction with a range of functions, alongside the development of a new residential and commercial district. Battersea Power Station is part of a larger development owned by a Malaysian consortium made up of PNB, Sime Darby Property, SP Setia, and the Malaysian Employees’ Pension Fund. Based in the UK, the Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) is in charge of the project.

The opening of Battersea Power Station marks the culmination of a decade of intense work to redevelop an area whose value is recognized worldwide. Featuring live performances, activities, installations, and more, the Festival of Power will celebrate this historic milestone for the city.


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Architects: WilkinsonEyre (Project principal, Jim Eyre; Project director; Sebastien Ricard)
Location: London, UK
Client: Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) 
Structural Engineer and Facade Engineer: Buro Happold 
M&E Engineer: Chapman BDSP 
Construction Manager: MACE 
Lighting Designer: Spiers & Major 
Residential Apartment Designer: Michaelis Boyd 
Project Manager: Turner & Townsend 
Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald 
Planning Consultant: DP9 
External Landscaping: LDA Design 
Roof Garden Design: Andy Sturgeon 
Conservation Consultant: Purcell 

All images courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre
Please refer to the individual images in the gallery to look through the photo credits

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