25 April 2023
Project of the Year over £10m sponsored by Hill Dickinson
Photos by (clockwise from left): Peter Landers; John Sturrock; James Budgen; Elodie Kowalski; John Sturrock
Building Project of the Year over £10m SECBE Award 2023 finalist
Battersea Power Station (BPS) is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated developments in Europe.
An icon on the London skyline, the Power Station was built in two phases before and after the Second World War. The building’s exterior was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and the interiors by Theo J Halliday. At its peak, the coal-fired Power Station provided a fifth of London’s electricity.
Decommissioned in 1983, BPS became London’s most famous ruin, appearing in countless films, on TV and album covers, whilst a string of different owners attempted to redevelop the landmark. The Power Station was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 1991 where it remained for 30 years until it was removed in November 2021. Redevelopment finally became possible when a consortium of Malaysian companies purchased the site in 2012, with the vision to restore and transform the landmark into a new mixed-use riverside neighbourhood.
Sitting at the heart of a 42 acre site, the Grade II* listed Power Station is a scheme of astonishing complexity. Opening its doors to the public for the first time in history on 14th October 2022, the enormous brick volumes of the Power Station now house offices, shops, bars, restaurants, leisure venues and apartments. The Power Station’s Turbine Halls dating from the 1930s and 1950s have been transformed while conserving the best of their heritage features. These are flanked by Switch House East and West with approximately 100 residential units each, while the upper part of the central Boiler House is now home to Apple’s new 500,000 sq ft office space and a unique collection of Sky Villas on top. The roofs of each section of the Power Station have fully planted gardens.
A team comprised of BPSDC, WilkinsonEyre (Architect), Buro Happold (Lead Engineer) and Mace (Main Contractor) have taken the design from concept to detail and delivery of this major regeneration project. From the meticulous restoration of key heritage features, such as Control Room A, to bold new structural interventions such as the bow string trusses holding up the north and south entrance walls, the team has ensured that new and old share a consistent aesthetic. There is a purposeful juxtaposition of brick with glass, and historic ceramic tile with contemporary steel. Bricks were sourced from the original brickmakers in Gloucestershire and Shropshire to repair the external walls. In Turbine Hall A, the flamboyant Art Deco of the faience and internal fenestration is complemented by bespoke designs for the balustraded galleries and bridges that now animate this large volume, filled with natural light from beautifully restored skylights above. In the Boiler House, two spectacular entrance atria now greet visitors arriving from the north and south, the original walls with their patina of age set off by new rooflights through which the iconic chimneys can be seen from below.
The restoration and new interventions have been achieved without losing the sense of scale, drama and history that makes BPS one of the city’s most evocative landmarks, a building now safeguarded in perpetuity through its exciting new purpose.
Repurposing the power station has led to the generation of more than 2500 permanent jobs on site since opening.
An onsite Energy Centre with CHP engines provides up to two megawatts of heat and two megawatts of electricity.
BPSDC were a financial contributor to the Northern Line Tube Extension Project which now links Battersea and Nine Elms to the West End.
Client: Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC)
Project Partners: BPSDC, WilkinsonEyre (Architect), Buro Happold (Lead Engineer) and Mace (Main Contractor)
Find out more about Project Partners
Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 Ceremony on Thurs 29th June 2023.
About the Building Project of the Year Award (sponsored by Hill Dickinson):
Project of the Year delivers outstanding outcomes for all those involved in a construction project. It showcases the benefits achieved through the application of many of the principles described in the other award categories. More info.