Battersea Power Station

This weekend there will be over 800 buildings, neighbourhood walks and architects’ talks to enjoy as Open House London once again reveals great architecture for free. Sadly Battersea Power Station, one of the buildings I visited last year, will not be open as the 42 acre site is undergoing redevelopment. Nonetheless its history and its future can be explored in detail on the developer’s website.

Battersea Power Station is one of London’s most iconic buildings. Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the coal fired Battersea ‘A’ Station was completed in the early 1930s with Battersea ‘B’ Station subsequently added as an extension to the east in 1955. At its peak it powered over a fifth of London with its four 101m chimneys discharging 500 tonnes of CO2 per hour.

Closed in 1983, there have been many plans for the site’s future that have fallen by the wayside. Now the Grade II* listed building is destined to be at the heart of a new urban quarter which will provide 3,500 new homes, shops and 18 acres of green space. Sadly some of the views of the power station itself will be obscured by the new apartment blocks which will wrap around it but the building will still be clearly visible from the riverside. The chimneys will dominate the site, albeit that they are to be rebuilt to ensure their future.

Images: ©Roger Hunt

Since this post I’ve come across four films made by Kevin Murphy with the Battersea Power Station Community Group which can be viewed here.