05 July 2022

Construction of BPS Reaches Practical Completion

Practical completion of Grade II* listed Power Station achieved

Fit out of commercial spaces and final cosmetic elements of public areas progressing ahead of opening this Autumn – creating a new ‘15-minute’ live, work and play neighbourhood

Milestone marked by the unveiling of the decorative Turbine Hall floor patterns which “ghost” the footprint of the original turbines that once powered a fifth of London’s electricity

The restoration of the Power Station has created over 600 construction jobs and 176 apprenticeships for local residents in Wandsworth and Lambeth

Battersea Power Station today announces that it has reached practical completion of the Grade II* listed Power Station, after eight years of careful and transformational restoration of the historic building. This marks a major milestone as the globally renowned landmark prepares to open to the public this Autumn. 

Originally designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station was built in two stages which externally form a seamless and near symmetrical whole, but internally are designed in two distinct styles. Battersea A, which completed in 1935 is in the Art Deco style prevalent at that time, while Battersea B, which completed in 1955, reflects the post war austerity with its industrial utilitarian design. 

To commemorate this important milestone and in celebration of the building’s history, Battersea Power Station today unveiled the decorative flooring in the Turbine Halls which provide “ghosts” of the historic turbines. At their peak, they supplied a fifth of London’s electricity, including some of the capital’s most recognisable addresses such as Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. The Power Station was fully decommissioned in 1983. 

The outline shapes of these structures in their original locations are stencilled into the flooring of the Power Station’s Turbine Halls which now house over 100 shops, bars and restaurants for all to enjoy. The Grade II* listed building also includes 254 apartments, more than 500,000 sq ft of office space, and a unique events and leisure offering, including the chimney lift experience, which will take visitors 109 metres up to the top of the Power Station’s north west chimney, offering stunning 360-degree views of London’s skyline. The six-acre riverfront park opened to the public earlier this year and hosted the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, attended by more than 80,000 people.

Adding a significant boost to the UK economy, craftsmanship and suppliers have been sourced from all corners of the country as part of the Power Station’s restoration. Thousands of jobs have been created for the construction and design industries as part of the building’s restoration, and over 2,500 jobs will be created once the Power Station opens to the public.  

Working closely with lead architect, WilkinsonEyre, construction managers Mace Group and Historic England, extensive and highly skilled conservation work has taken place throughout the Power Station to preserve and enhance its historic features. This includes the building’s four iconic chimneys, which have been painstakingly rebuilt using the original construction method, having been deemed unsafe following extensive surveys. Over 25,000 wheelbarrows of concrete were poured by hand into shuttered layers which were left to set one by one. Samples of the original paint were also taken and meticulously colour-matched to determine the choice of paint applied, with each chimney requiring 375 litres.

Approximately 1.75 million handmade bricks were also ordered from the two original British brickmakers who supplied the bricks to build Battersea Power Station to match the originals. Family owned Northcot Brick, based in Gloucestershire, have made 1.3 million bricks to restore parts of the Power Station built in the 1930s and 1940s, while 440,000 bricks from Blockleys in Telford, Shropshire, were used to refurbish the final parts of the building dating from the 1950s.  

Simon Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC), said: 

“Today, on behalf of the Shareholders, Sime Darby Property, S P Setia and the Employees’ Provident Fund, together with PNB, we are proud to announce practical completion of the main build of Battersea Power Station, creating a new destination for all to live, work, eat and play. This is the culmination of nearly eight years of painstaking restoration work, transforming this former derelict building into a World class destination to be enjoyed for generations. 

We are now working with the retail and leisure brands as they fit out their spaces ahead of the opening of this wonderful building to the public for the first time in Autumn.

We thank the entire team of highly skilled experts and visionaries who have been integral and committed in helping turn the shareholders’ vision into a reality.”

Gareth Lewis, CEO for Mace Construct, said: 

“We are extremely proud of the exceptional work the Mace team, our specialist trade contractors, our fantastic client Battersea Power Station, architects WilkinsonEyre and the wider project team have delivered on the restoration of one of the UK’s architectural icons. 

This has been one of the most complex construction projects ever delivered in the UK and we’re looking forward to seeing a building that was left derelict for nearly forty years, come alive and be a hive of activity for all to enjoy.”

Also opening this year, is London’s newest pedestrianised high street, Electric Boulevard. Two of the world’s most renowned architectural practices, Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners, have designed this new high street, which will feature shops, restaurants, a community hub, a new park and a 164 room art’otel, the brand’s first hotel in the UK overlooking the Power Station itself. 

Electric Boulevard will also link the development to the new Zone 1 Northern Line London Underground station which opened in 2021, bringing Battersea within 15 minutes of the City and the West End, as well as boosting the local economy and creating over 17,000 jobs.    

The bustling Circus West Village - the first chapter in the regeneration of Battersea Power Station, already includes customer favourites such as Sugen Gopal’s Roti King, Francesco Mazzei’s Fiume and Chef Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Kitchen. The vibrant riverside neighbourhood is home to more than 1,800 residents and over 20 cafés, bars, restaurants, shops, fitness and leisure facilities. 

Follow @BatterseaPwrStn to keep up with the latest news and events at Battersea Power Station and visit www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk to find out more.

 
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