London’s iconic Battersea Power Station sees new light with its newly redeveloped surrounding. The whopping £9 billion Battersea Power Station redevelopment project finally opens doors for public use after 8 years. Known for its spectacular location by the Thames, and its spectacular silhouette, it is a masterpiece of industrial design. This 1930s power station was once a significant contributor to the city’s power grid and an important architectural landmark. Although its industrial use became absolute in 1983, it was decommissioned. It however continued to remain a landmark in the ever-evolving cityscape of London.
The Battersea Power Station has been subject to numerous regeneration projects in the past, all of which have failed. Until recently, the Battersea power station and the whole Nine Elms precinct around finally saw a ray of new hope. A master plan for a mixed-use hub was proposed for the area. This included 3500 homes, and 1.7 million square feet of commercial office and retail spaces, along with recreational and leisure amenities. In 2012, the Battersea power plant was up for auction, when a consortium of Malaysian investors brought it.
Battersea Power Station before Redevelopment
Located at a mere distance of one mile from the Houses of Parliament, the Battersea Power station is an art deco edifice and a marvel in the industrial design landscape. The Battersea Power station was once the ‘Cathedral of Power’ that catered to a fifth of London’s electricity requirements. It ran its course as a power plant and was completely decommissioned in 1983. It was declared a grade II heritage and its contribution to London’s skyline is worth memorializing. After this, it lay in ruins for almost three decades. The numerous failed regeneration attempts also included converting it into a theme park.
The Redevelopment Plan
The Battersea power station redevelopment project is a massive visionary project that is transforming the power station and 42 acres of the surrounding neighbourhood. It has been phased in three major phases and eight total phases. Several esteemed architects and designers have contributed to the design of the new Battersea power station area redevelopment. A few of them include Foster+Partners, Gehry and Partners, Simpson Haugh and Partners, De Rijke Marsh Morgan (dRMM), and Wilkinson Eyre. This, much-anticipated development comprises community housing, commercial spaces, and state-of-the-art amenities. These amenities include public spaces, cafes, bars, restaurants and many more leisure-centric spaces. Currently, two phases of the project are complete.
Phase I: Circus West
Circus West is a mixed-use development located on the north-western side of the Battersea power station. It comprises 866 residential units that are stuffed into two blocks. These also include lavish penthouses with private rooftop gardens that overlook the Thames and the power plant. The development consists of acres of public space that includes the Winter Gardens and elevated rooftop gardens. Three is also a 5000 sq. ft. private club for the village’s residents. This phase was completed in 2017 and is now home to 1800 residents and a large footfall frequents the amenities in Circus West. an important part of the redevelopment project is the extension of the northern underground line to Nine Elms and Battersea. This extension alone has gained the government’s support with the approval of a £1billion loan.
Phase II: Battersea Power Station Redevelopment
The second phase of the redevelopment entailed the restoration of the Battersea Power station and adaptively reusing it as a truly mixed-use building. Taking up £600M of the total project budget, this phase revamped the power station. It looked at restoring the iconic chimneys, piling the substructure and replacing the masonry wherever necessary. The building has been adaptively reused to function as a mixed-use hub. Here the lower floors are dedicated to shopping spaces, with 58,000 sq. m. office spaces on the floors above. This is topped by crowning residential units that house 284 flats. The chimneys also have an added glass elevator that gives a panoramic view of the city. This phase of the redevelopment project is also complete. 47,000 sq. ft. of office spaces is all set to become the ‘Apple’ London Campus.
Phase III: Electric Boulevard
The Electric Boulevard, once complete will serve as the main entrance to the Nine Elms and Battersea station. This will also house new homes and a new high street that overlooks the Thames. Retail spaces, hotels and restaurants will also be a part of the scheme. A 1.1-acre public park, a community hub and a children’s park will also be included in this phase, which is located to the south of the Battersea power station. The Electric Boulevard will connect the 42-acre development to the newly made US embassy in Vauxhall. This phase of the project is in its initial design stages and its execution is yet to begin.
How much has it changed? | Battersea Power Station redevelopment
The redevelopment plan has already given the Battersea power station region an exceptional facelift. It has added several essential functions that make good use of the strengths of the site. The site is now home to thousands of people and is becoming a prime location in the city, both as a commercial hub and a recreation zone. While the project seems like a utopian dream, it is believed to do little to cover the housing shortage in London. Most of the houses available here cannot be labelled as affordable. Having established that, the project will set aside 500 homes as affordable homes. The whole project is expected to complete by 2024.
The Battersea power station redevelopment project is a massive and complex project that includes various large stakeholders. The site is owned by a consortium of Malaysian investors that includes PNB, S P Setia and the Employees’ Provident Fund and Sime Darby Property. The project is primarily being managed by the Battersea Power Station Development Company. Once complete, the redevelopment project will bring back the region’s glory and give it a new identity. The enhanced connectivity, with uber-cool amenities, prominent company offices and significant community housing will transform the landmark’s narrative.
- Battersea Power Station (no date) McBains. Available at: https://mcbains.co.uk/projects/battersea-power-station (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- The masterplan (2022) Battersea Power Station. Available at: https://batterseapowerstation.co.uk/about/building-battersea-the-masterplan/#:~:text=Battersea%20Power%20Station%20will%20be,and%20the%20Employees’%20Provident%20Fund. (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- ITV News (2012) Work on Battersea Power Station ‘to go ahead’, ITV News. ITV News. Available at: https://www.itv.com/news/london/2012-09-05/work-on-battersea-power-station-to-go-ahead (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- Holledge, R. (2013) London Landmark’s long-awaited overhaul, The New York Times. The New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/greathomesanddestinations/Renovation-of-Battersea-Power-Station-Near.html (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- The history (2022) Battersea Power Station. Available at: https://batterseapowerstation.co.uk/about/heritage-history/ (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- Green Mountain Data Centre et al. (2020) Battersea Power Station Redevelopment, London, UK, Design Build Network. Available at: https://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/battersea-power-station-redevelopment-london/ (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- Tom Ravenscroft |5 October 2022 Leave a comment (2022) Wilkinson Eyre completes long-awaited redevelopment of iconic Battersea Power Station, Dezeen. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2022/10/05/battersea-power-station-opens-wilkinson-eyre/ (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- Battersea Power Station set for public opening after 10-year development (2022) The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/oct/05/battersea-power-station-set-for-public-opening-after-10-year-development (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- Wilkinson, C. (2022) We visited the new Battersea Power Station and it’s spectacular, Time Out London. Time Out. Available at: https://www.timeout.com/london/news/first-look-battersea-power-station-is-finally-opening-to-the-public-and-its-spectacular-100522 (Accessed: October 23, 2022).
- Foster, A. (2022) Battersea Power Station opens after decades of decay, BBC News. BBC. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-63234124 (Accessed: October 23, 2022).