Wonderful blue skies greeted guests at the ULI Battersea Power Station Site tour on Thursday 3rd November. The gargantuan, grade II* listed power station was in clear view, and the cold Autumnal air contrasted with the hive of activity going on around the site.
The day started with a presentation by Ian Dodds from Skanska, who shared the impressive numbers behind the regeneration of Battersea Power Station. With seven schemes due to be completed by 2025, the size of the project matches the development itself.
Around $8-9 billion will be invested by the Malaysian owners, SP Setia and Sime Darby. This will transform Battersea from a megalith into a modern mixed-use development, creating 10,000 jobs in the process. A rendered image of the finished Power Station showed it complete with striking apartments flanking the Phase Two development, and an amazing viewing platform from one of the old chimneys. Certainly a site for sore eyes!
Ian then gave everyone a comprehensive overview of the billion pound Phase Two, mixed-use development. The finished scheme will provide places to eat, live and work. Exactly 253 apartments will be available by the time the scheme is complete around the autumn of 2020, while Apple is set to move into part of the office space in 2021.
After this, Gareth Fairweather from the TfL and Mathieu Mazenod from the GLA hosted some questions from the floor. Questions focused on the importance of the northern extension line, due for completion by 2021, in the development of the Power Station. There was unanimous agreement as to the importance of growing connectivity in London, and the prospect of great socio-economic benefits the pending extension will bring to the capital.
Guests were subsequently split into two groups – based on their shoe size, of course – and took turns going up to the viewing platform and being given a tour of the site. Looking out onto the busy site from such a great vantage point crystallised the mammoth size of the project, and highlighted its wonderful location on the river.
The tour transferred everyone to the busy site itself, where up to 2,500 people can be working at peak times. Everyone saw inside the Power Station, which is big enough to fit two St Paul’s inside. A concerted effort has also been made to retain characteristic elements of the old Battersea Power Station. The old control room will become a restaurant, while contemporary art deco features will be retained.
The afternoon ended in a fitting location at Brunswick House, where the contemporary met the traditional. It was a pleasure to chat to so many of you – from Masters students at LSE to property planners – and I welcome you all to join us again at further ULI events.
This forum was developed by the ULI Infrastructure Council in partnership with TfL, GLA and Skanska.