I used to pass the beautiful Art Deco Battersea Power Station quite frequently on the way to work and wonder what would become of the now famous and iconic London Landmark. Built in the 1930’s and completed in the 50’s, the Grade 2 listed building is now a globally recognized icon.
A Brief History
At the end of 1976, Pink Floyd commissioned Australian Artist, Jeffrey Shaw to build a huge 9ft inflatable helium pig balloon for the cover of their album, Animals. The pig was then carefully positioned above Battersea Power Station ready for the photo shoot, but owing to adverse weather conditions, it broke free, rising onto the flight path at London Heathrow Airport before being recovered by an angry farmer in Kent.
A few years later, the Power Station was closed and the roof removed after plans were made to turn the building into a theme park. However, redevelopment fell through and the site became the hosting venue for various sporting, cultural and political events as well as sets for TV programmes and films.
More recently, ‘Tourism Ireland’ projected emerald green lights onto the outside of Battersea Power Station along with the London Eye and Nelson’s Monument, to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and bring a ‘smile to the world’.
On April 6th 2011, the NEC will host the ‘NEC Display Solutions Showcase’ at the Battersea Power Station. The event will include live demonstrations to visitors, of technologies within the areas of Education, Digital out of Home, Control Rooms, Professional Office and Meeting Rooms, 3D and Green Display Technology.
Despite companies renting the building for events, the site is still largely unused and disconnected from the rest of London. However, the newest proposal involves a 2.4 acre landscaped park connecting the rest of the Thames River Walk to Battersea Power Station, which will become a hosting venue for community events.
Treasury Holdings, current owners of Battersea Power Station aim to create “a modern, cosmopolitan, creative district around the restored power station, where visual arts, design, and music sit comfortably alongside business and commerce”.
The redevelopment of the power station will consist of over 3, 400 new homes, 1.7 million sq ft of office space and 1.5 million sq ft for community activities, conferences, hotels, shops, restaurants and other amenities. Approximately 28, 000 inhabitants and 25, 000 workers are expected to occupy the space once complete.
The park area could be open to the public as early as July 2011 which will open up the Thames River Walk beneath Grosvenor Railway Bridge. There are also plans to extend the Northern line and to create a new underground station. The entire project is expected to be complete by 2016.