Sparks fly in battersea

Parkview International is charging up Battersea Power Station for a new lease of life, with the aid of a consortium of top creative talent, says Anne Konopelski

Meanwhile, Parkview International has announced plans to convert one of the power station’s chimneys into an ultra-exclusive, eccentric restaurant. Up to 16 diners will enter the space from the chimney’s shoulder. Once they are seated at the restaurant’s single table, a hydraulic system will lift them to the top of the chimney.

Rumgay concedes that the opportunities for designers are minimal at present, but he does suggest that they will eventually appear on the horizon. ‘We haven’t got to the interiors side [of the project] yet, but we are in discussion with retailers and a cinema operator. I think there will be a number of opportunities,’ he says.

Battersea Power Station Architecture and Design Team

Sir Philip Dowson Design director

Reid Architecture Executive architect

Ron Arad Associates

Upperworld Hotel (planning permission pending)

Arup Associates

Site masterplan, with Cecil Balmond; urban resort hotel and conference hotel, with Reardon Smith Architects; auditorium; pedestrian bridge; jetty

Cecil Balmond at Arup Advanced Geometry Unit

‘Product showcase’, or exhibition space; offices, with Reid Architecture


Power station, Battersea Park Station

Scéno Plus

Auditorium interior, power station central space

Gustafson Porter


Benson and Forsyth

Residential design

Battersea Power Station History

1930 Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, also responsible for Waterloo Bridge, Liverpool Cathedral and the red telephone box, is appointed to design the power station

1933 Battersea A, comprising one turbine hall and two chimneys, is completed

1953 Battersea B, encompassing a second turbine hall and two additional chimneys, is completed

1980 The power station is granted Grade II-listed status

1982 Operations are ceased

1984 The Central Electricity Generating Board holds a seven-way competition to determine the power station’s future. It is won by the Alton Towers consortium

1986 Planning approval is granted to the consortium for an indoor theme park

1989 Funding runs out and construction is halted

1993 Parkview International purchases the consortium’s outstanding debts

1996 The group wins the freehold of the site

1997 Wandsworth Council grants outline consent for Parkview International’s plans to turn the power station site into a retail, leisure and housing complex

2001 Detailed planning consent is granted

2002 Site ‘enabling’ works begin

2004 Parkview International submits revised plans under its original consent, and advanced on-site works begin

2008 Phase one of the development, including the power station, urban resort hotel and some residential areas, is due to be completed

2009 Remainder of the site is scheduled to be completed

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