Battersea Power Station opens with free five-day festival
WilkinsonEyre/Foster + Partners
WilkinsonEyre landmark conversion to welcome first visitors
Battersea Power Station will open its doors to the public on 14th October, following the completion of its conversion designed by Tenderstream member WilkinsonEyre. Also opening is a new pedestrianised high street called Electric Boulevard, designed by Tenderstream member Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners. The date will mark the first time visitors can explore inside the iconic Grade II listed landmark and its mix of shops, bars, restaurants and leisure venues. To celebrate the opening, a free, five-day ‘Festival of Power’ will run from 14th to 16th October, and 22nd to 23rd October, with a programme of live performances, activities and installations.
WilkonsonEyre created a design that is consistent with and sympathetic to original architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece, with the chimneys and turbine halls remaining the dominant features of the building. A central design principle was the retention of the Power Station’s sense of scale and visual drama, achieved through features such as a full-height glass void behind the southern wall, a vast central atrium and open, unobstructed turbine halls. The designs respect the integrity of the historic landmark whilst also creating a new state-of-the-art events space; shops, restaurants and cafés; a public viewing platform; large open-plan office spaces, and a series of villas, apartments and penthouses positioned around lush rooftop garden squares above the Boiler House and the Switch Houses on either side.
Sebastien Ricard, project director at WilkinsonEyre, stated: “It has been a privilege to restore and transform this iconic building, not only saving and celebrating the original features but creating contemporary interventions which bring the structure alive again. I’m excited that these incredible volumes – the turbine halls and boiler house – will, for the first time, be open to all.”
The new pedestrianised high street between Gehry Partners’ Prospect Place and Foster + Partners’ Battersea Roof Gardens, Electric Boulevard, will be the main gateway between the Power Station and the neighbourhood’s Zone 1 London Underground Station. Foster + Partners designed the undulating building to the west of The Electric Boulevard called “The Skyline”, which includes 103 units of affordable housing, in addition to a medical centre and 160-room hotel. Two floors of retail front on to the western side of the street, while generous breaks in the façade allow daylight to reach the public spaces below. The entire top of the building is laid out as one of London’s largest roof gardens, over a quarter of a kilometre long.
Simon Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “We can’t wait to welcome the first visitors, and show the local community, Londoners, and the rest of the world, the historic beauty of the Grade II* listed building, which has been transformed into London’s most unique destination for all to enjoy.”
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