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Regeneration of Battersea Power Station Creates Office Space in London

by Kate Tattersfield

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Once complete, Battersea Power Station will boast 'the largest new office district in Central London', according to developers.

Iconic structure

Built in the 1930s with the purpose of generating electricity for the capital, Battersea Power Station remains one of the most iconic landmarks in London. It's one of the largest brick-built structures in the world and is famous for its Art Deco fitting and decor. Featuring on Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals and in The Beatles 1965 film Help!, it seems to have an enduring mass cultural appeal. The station itself relinquished its ability to provide power in '83, and until recently was somewhat neglected and unused.

A 'neighbourhood'

Three Malaysian investors- SP Setia, Sime Darby Property and The Employees Provident Fund- bought BPS for £400 million in 2012 and have invested £9 billion into the space, with the view of transforming it into a hub of residences, cultural venues and commercial space. The redevelopment will also get its own transport links: the Northern line could be extended to Battersea and a new riverboat stop established on the Thames.

The vision is already being realised. 8.5 million sq ft is to be split between commercial and residential space, with 500 000 sq ft dedicated to workspace (located in the boiler house). Tech titan Apple has already agreed to lease 40% and is due to move in 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the move as, "a further sign that London is open to the biggest brands in the world and the leading city for trade and investment."

New business

Battersea Power Station Development Company's Head of Leasing has an inclusive approach to attracting businesses, making it clear that the workspace welcomes new enterprises from across all industries, not just tech. "We want to be the best known new district and the home to all of the creative industries… it's not just a building, it's an amazing place that we're trying to create with this rich variety of amenities."

Previous success

This project is nothing new. Architects and designers have been repurposing old buildings for years. The Bankside Power Station which was also designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott was redeveloped into the UK's most prestigious modern art gallery: the Tate Modern. Before opening its doors in 2000, designers restored the station to its original structure and aesthetic. The turbine hall became the reception and the boiler house the galleries.

The Tate's recent extension is home to rotating collections, with a focus on learning and engagement.

 

Credit: Jim Linwood, License 2.0

The Tate's recent extension is home to rotating collections, with a focus on learning and engagement.

Written by Kate Tattersfield

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