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13 June 2017

Reconstruction of chimneys win public vote

The Londonist People’s Choice Award is presented to the project which receives most votes from the public and Battersea Power Station attracted more support than other shortlisted projects including Crossrail Liverpool Street and London Bridge Station.

The ICE Awards showcase the hidden benefits of civil engineering to society. These awards celebrate the most innovative, creative and sustainable contributions to the physical and social environment in London.

 

The award comes as the last of the four chimneys reached its full height and work began on painting them, following meticulous colour-matching using original scrapings.

 

The work has been undertaken since the purchase of the Power Station by shareholders Sime Darby, SP Setia and EPF in 2012, before which the Power Station had been derelict for over thirty years and fallen into considerable disrepair.

 

In order to be shortlisted a panel of independent judges visited Battersea Power Station to see at first hand the reconstruction process taking place, in which the vast concrete structures were rebuilt using the original technique of pouring concrete by hand into wooden shutters at intervals of just over a metre.  It is this process which gives the chimneys their unique fluted profile and fine linear banding.

 

Work to dismantle and rebuild the chimneys began in 2014 following extensive investigations into the extent of damage sustained to them over the course of half a century.  The work was carried out by main contractor Skanska and sub-contractors Beroa Bierrum and Delta.

 

In agreement with Historic England and London Borough of Wandsworth the decision to dismantle and rebuild the chimneys was reached.  The full restoration of the Power Station is anticipated to complete in 2020, at the same time as the new Battersea Power Station tube station becomes operational and the Grade 2* listed building will open to the public.

 

Last year Apple confirmed it will be making Battersea Power Station its London home with an agreement to lease a large part of the office space being created on the site.

 

Mike Grice, Chief Construction Officer at Battersea Power Station, said:

“This is a great honour for the entire team working on the restoration of the Power Station, it is a huge responsibility but as the chimney reconstruction process comes to conclusion we are significantly closer to the point at which we can open it up for the public to enjoy.”

 

Ian Dodds, Senior Project Director at Skanska, said:

“This was a unique piece of work which required the design of bespoke equipment and the application of manual techniques which simply would not be seen in modern construction methods and the result will be four chimneys which are indistinguishable from the originals.”

 

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of London Borough of Wandsworth council, said:

“The Power Station is a key icon, which had previously been derelict for 30 years but has always been at the heart of the wider Nine Elms regeneration, and this award celebrates not only the extent of public affection for this magnificent building but also the complexity and scale of work being done to safeguard it.”

 

Emily Gee, Head of Listing Advice at Historic England, said:

“Once the decision was taken to dismantle and rebuild the chimneys every care has been taken to ensure the reconstruction was carried out in a way that stayed faithful to the original construction techniques and materials, a process requiring great skill, expertise and investment on the part of the team at Battersea.”

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