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Restoration of the Power Station


At the heart of the 42-acre development lies the Grade II* listed Power Station. Restoring and reworking such a complex building for a wide range of future uses is both a challenge of some scale and a huge opportunity.

Work is well underway on the restoration of the Power Station. Led by construction manager Mace, who will shortly be taking over from Skanska, the 17 sub-contractors on site and their 700-strong workforce, have commenced the internal and structural works within the Power Station as well as ground works for the site’s main Energy Centre.

Ground Obstructions 

Significant obstructions have been removed from the ground around the Power Station and from the central Boiler House. Some 1,200m3 of material – largely metal, concrete and steel – have been removed from the site over the last two years to make way for the piling and access works.
 

Gazetteer Heritage 

Specialist heritage architects from Purcell have worked with the contractors to assess and document every item that is salvaged from the Power Station for reuse or re-purposing. Thousands of items, such as light fittings, gantry cranes and steel beams, are being stored for future use.
 

Elevation Repairs and Brick Replacement 

The original brick manufacturers were engaged early in the restoration programme and they will produce the new bricks for the restoration as they are required.

The Power Station’s bricks are imperial rather than the smaller metric sized brick more commonly produced today and they are being commissioned to ensure they complement the existing ones. Individual blends of brick have been created to match the colour and texture of the originals used in the different phases of construction.

The specifications and samples of the new bricks have been approved by Historic England and the London Borough of Wandsworth.
 

Scaffolding 

Circa 30km of scaffolding has been installed over the years to give safe access to the higher reaches of the Power Station to allow extensive surveys, cleaning and preparatory works to be undertaken.
 

East Screen Wall 

The scaffolding of the East Screen Wall of the central Boiler House is complete and works to restore the wall began in March 2016. The wall is being carefully dismantled and will be rebuilt from 2017 onwards to accommodate the windows for the six floors of office space that were agreed as part of the original masterplan approval. The wall will be rebuilt, using bricks sourced from the original Power Station brick manufacturers to match the original.

Tower Cranes 

Two 44m tower cranes have been installed in the western light wells of the Power Station to help the site teams manoeuvre materials such as large steel beams in and out of the Power Station.
 

Energy Centre 

The underground chamber for the huge energy centre box – one of the largest in the UK at over 50,000 sq ft. in size – is being excavated under the area that will become the riverside park. Works to complete the ‘box’ will conclude in late 2017, ahead of the installation of all the components required to create the main gas-fired CHP (Combined Heat and Power) engines. These will provide the commercial and residential users of the development with their utilities.
 

Bridge and Road Installation 

Several bridges are planned for the site while new roads that will be laid over the next year will be one of Wandsworth’s largest new road developments.
 

Chimney Rebuild 

All four chimneys have now been rebuilt and are being repainted to match the originals.
 

Fact File 

Architects: WilkinsonEyre Architects, with Purcell Architects as Conservation Architects

Building contractor: Mace

What is being built:

  • Four new chimneys
  • A restored Grade II* listed building
  • 253 new homes arranged around the upper levels of the east and west annexes and the central Boiler House
  • Six floors of office space
  • Space for over 90 shops, a mix of emerging brands and world-renowned retailers
  • A floor devoted to an urban food hall
  • A 2,000 person capacity event venue
  • A six-acre public river-side park with a refurbished jetty and the historic coal cranes

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