WilkinsonEyre and Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) have worked together to sensitively restore and adapt the Grade II* listed structure’s triumphant former industrial spaces, to create a new mixed-use neighbourhood for London, conserving and enhancing the iconic building’s heritage features.
Originally designed in the 1930s by the UK’s renowned architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station historically provided one fifth of London’s electricity, supplying some of the capital’s most recognisable landmarks including the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, before being decommissioned in 1983. It’s best known for having featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, on which it was photographed with the group’s inflatable pig floating between the chimneys.
The opening marks the culmination of almost a decade of intensive work to restore the globally recognised landmark, with WilkinsonEyre leading the design, through concept, detail and delivery, for this bold reimagining of one of the world’s most famous buildings. It follows a series of phased completions, including the opening of the first residential apartments in 2021.
The newly restored Battersea Power Station features over 100 shops, restaurants and cafes, events venues, new office space and 254 new apartments, plus Lift 109, a unique chimney lift experience offering 360-degree panoramic views of London’s skyline.
The architectural interventions respect the integrity of the historic landmark while creating new events spaces, shops, restaurants and cafés, large open-plan office spaces, and a series of Sky Villas positioned around rooftop garden squares above the Boiler House and Turbine Halls.
The chimneys, which were rebuilt between 2014 - 2017 using the original construction method as when they were first built in phases between the 1930s and 50s. Retaining the Power Station’s sense of scale and visual drama is key to the project and is achieved through features such as full-height voids behind the southern and northern entrances, a vast central atrium, and the unobstructed turbine halls which have become retail gallerias.
While the restored Turbine Hall A retains the decorative feel of the 1930s, Turbine Hall B which dates from the 1950s has a more pared-back aesthetic. The former's Art Deco Greek Key detailing is echoed in bespoke balustrades, while new bridges now animate the large volume, filled with natural light from carefully restored skylights. Both Turbine Halls now house an array of carefully curated brands from around the world, in spectacular settings open to the public for the first time in their history.
The Power Station’s original Control Rooms with their different period styling have also been fully restored. Control Room A is set to become a unique events space and Control Room B has been transformed into a new all-day bar concept, where patrons will be able to get up close to the original dials and controls.
Throughout the project there is a purposeful juxtaposition of brick with glass, and historic ceramic tile with contemporary steel. Approximately 1.8 million bricks were sourced from the original brickmakers, Northcot Bricks in Gloucestershire and Blockleys in Shropshire, to repair the Power Station’s walls, and new homes feature brick and steelwork from the 1930s and 1950s.
“It has been a privilege to restore and transform this iconic building, not only saving and celebrating the original features but creating interventions which bring the structure alive again. I’m excited that these incredible volumes – the Turbine Halls and Boiler House – will, for the first time, be open to all. We’ve taken great inspiration from Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in everything from the drama and scale right through to individual material choices and I hope this is reflected in the experience of residents and visitors.” Sebastien Ricard, Director at WilkinsonEyre