Wilkinson Eyre completes redevelopment of Battersea Power Station

Wilkinson Eyre completes redevelopment of Battersea Power Station

Oliver Wainwright   /  Source:  The Guardian

In 1983, the year Battersea Power Station was decommissioned, the radical architect Cedric Price drew up a provocative proposal for what to do with the gargantuan brick hulk. The London building’s silhouette of four slender white chimneys rising from the stepped art deco brick rooftop was the real icon on the skyline, he reasoned, so why not just save that and do away with the rest? He christened his surrealist proposition the Bat Hat and sketched out how it could all be held aloft on great steel supports, freeing the land below for housing. “We have divested the existing building of all that froze the immediate site,” Price wrote, “leaving only that which is considered important – its height and familiar profile.”

His proposal was intended as a playful dig at the conservation movement. But, visit the site today, and it seems like an eerily accurate prediction. Approach the area from most directions and all you see is the chimneys – if you’re lucky. The developers of the 42-acre site have achieved the miraculous feat of hiding one of the biggest buildings in London, almost completely surrounding the great brick cathedral of electricity with bloated blocks of luxury flats. Many more are on the way...

The Guardian: ‘Every square inch monetised’ – is Battersea Power Station now a playground for the super rich?

Photo: Oliver Wainwrightt

Photo: Backdrop Productions

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