BATTERSEA POWER STATION
Just after passing Clapham Junction on the train, you can’t help but notice the tall white chimneys and huge brick building. This is the Battersea Power Station which the most famous for Pink Floyd 1977’s album “ANIMALS”. Its size is as big as three football stadiums and its elegant art deco design always takes our breath away.
For the summer holidays, the power station opens to the public. There you can see the exhibition of history and future renovation plan of the building and also be able to get into the site, which has been closed since 1983.
Battersea Power station was the first in a series of large coal-fired electrical generating facilities set up in England during the first half of the last century, as part of a National Grid power distribution system. The design was by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who was also famous for the design of the iconic British red telephone box, Liverpool Cathedral and another London Power Station, Bankside. The building is now known as one of the London Landmarks as famous as St Paul’s Cathedral.
The power station, which used to supply a fifth of power of London closed in 1983. It was bought several times to aim for the new entertainment space or complexes but those plans gradually diminished with financial difficulties.
At the entrance space, they exhibit the master plan of the Battersea and Vauxhall renovation by the present owner Real Estate Opportunity. It tells about keeping the power station building, complex theatres, 7000 new residents, 20,000 new jobs for the locals, extension of the tube line and nearest station, new solar power system, cycling paths and so on. They intend to create a whole new eco friendly community on the banks of the Thames.
Even though the site looks rough and shabby right now, especially with the big hole on the wall to take out the old machinery, still this building looks very powerful. That is because it is waiting to be used as new 21st century new power station just as it changes the way of power in the 30s. For the time being, the power is charging up.
Battersea Power Station
Address: 188 Kirtling Street, SW8 5BP, United Kingdom
Tel: 20 7501 0688
Text: Sayaka Hirakawa, Simon Borkin
Photos: Sayaka Hirakawa