Wolf Mangelsdorf on the transformation of London's Battersea Power Station
When selling high-end apartments off plan it is imperative that dimensions are reliable and that potential clients can accurately visualise the space. For this reason it was decided that Buro Happold would use Autodesk’s Revit software in the engineering of Rafael Vinoly’s transformation of the Grade II* listed Battersea Power Station on the banks of the River Thames in London.
The original Battersea Power Station complex was realised in the 1930s by a team of architects and engineers including Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Dr. Leonard Pearce, Henry Newmarch Allott, T. P. O’Sullivan and Theo J. Halliday. Since it ceased generating energy in 1983, the hefty bulk has been a constant source of conversation for commuters and native Londoners as the battle over the building’s future raged onwards.
Over the past few years a plethora of design teams have presented their transformative plans for this former coal-fired power station. Sir Terry Farrell has an ongoing relationship with the site, having presented open-plan concepts in December 2011 and revealing the intention to submit a listed building application in February 2012.
Rafael Vinoly has also been intrinsically involved in the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station throughout the years however his concepts have varied wildly from the integration of a 300m-high chimney and eco-dome to the current, toned-down masterplan which gained planning approval from Wandsworth Council in December 2012.
The first phase of the £8bn scheme will see the derelict power station drastically renovated so that it can open to the public for the first time. Two new buildings will also be constructed on vacant land at the site to the west of the power station, creating 800 new homes, a hotel and café, restaurant, spa, theatre and office space. A 6-acre public park is also on the cards. The second phase of the build will include affordable homes, a new Tube station, a riverbus pier, pedestrian squares and a new town centre.
Wolf Mangelsdorf, Head of Structural Engineering at Buro Happold, revealed the engineering behind these ambitious plans in an exclusive interview with WAN.