Due to the dog’s recovery we have had to start going to Battersea for treatment (See why here), but while there we have had a chance to visit the Power Station.
Battersea Power Station was built between 1929 and 1941, when construction was paused owing to the worsening effects of the Second World War. The building was completed in 1955.
Battersea was decommissioned in 1975 and In 1980 the whole structure was given Grade II status and because of that the whole place has remained abandoned and gutted ever since. There were some random plans to convert it over the years, from the home of the Tate Modern, a Theme Park with a rollercoaster weaving in and out of the building. An ‘Eco-Dome’, even the new home of Chelsea Football Club, with a stadium was to hold between 65,000 and 75,000 fans and feature a retractable roof. But all schemed failed to get the spark of interest! Until 2012 when Ernst & Young and Malaysian developers SP Setia entered into partnership to develop the site and surrounding area into a shopping centre, homes and offices.
Six months ago the facility opened with residents already living on site, but very few shops opening their doors at the time. Today however the place is a buzz with people and a lot of dogs! So what is there to see and do, now that Battersea Power Station is once again alive.
Well let’s start at the start, You can get there via The new Northern Line extension, it has its own little side line from Kennington. To drive there you can park in the carpark at Circus West Village and pay a small fortune for the privilege on top of the congestion charge and ULEZ!
But once there you are surrounded by some impressive high rise tower blocks, new, modern homes with over 430 homes arranged over five sections ranging from £210,000 to £6million+. There are a small number of Social Housing apartments available in each block, but these have their own entrance and are hidden around the back, with no views or any of the impressive amenities!
From the Tube station you approach the giant chimneys, passing the new homes, restaurants and offices, you come to a amphitheatre area where a row of shops and bars sweep in a gentle curve underneath one of the manor blocks of apartments.
But turn right and enter the giant building under the massive pair of cream chimneys.
So what of the converted Station?
Well you enter on UG Upper Ground and find the vast interior converted to walkways and front cube eateries, Starbucks and Pret face each other across an open balcony, there are large, modern, clean shop units all around, everything from TAG Hauer to Sweaty Betty, Abercrombie & Fitch to Zara. There is a gym curtesy of Under Armour, a Champagne Bar, large open plan sections with displays and random pop up kiosks on the ground floor, Art Installations of Angels and giant mechanical spirals. Giant LCD Screens advertising or just flashing bright colours and there is of course big, hefty lumps of old machinery that is standard in any old factory, a trendy nod to the buildings history.
At Battersea there are turbines and power collectors stationed on the ground floor and around the outside, looking like giant blue soldiers standing guard at the edges of the building, guard against rogue electricity spikes.
Out the back is a large open space with greenery, oversized chairs and a lawn splattered with Deck Chairs, to sit in while watching the traffic travelling along the Thames, or to look North to the Harrod’s Depository, an equally grand building on the North Bank, or to turn your seat and gaze skywards at the enormous chimney stacks and glorious red brick Art Deco Architecture, that is once more standing proud on the river, finally serving a purpose and doing so well.
Have you been to Battersea Power Station or are you a new resident, how is it living there?