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Battersea Power Station, London, United Kingdom

Thursday 26 Feb 2009

Battersea plans in turmoil

Battersea Power Station by Wid Chapman Architects in London, United Kingdom
Battersea Power Station by Wid Chapman Architects in London, United Kingdom Battersea Power Station by Wid Chapman Architects in London, United Kingdom
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03/03/09 sprita_skizo, chicago
What views, exactly, would this building be obstructing? From what I can tell of the aerial rendering, it's the only building of it's height, even without the chimney. If it's part of some gentrification other residential towers will spring up and the only issue there is that they'll have to be taller than this, to make sure the penthouses and upper floors will have those Westminster views. Let the people have their garden!
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In my opinion the scale and orientation of graphic nature of the facades are entirely pleasing, adventurous and complimentary to the existing Battersea power station. The notion of an ecologically sensitive 'chimney' as a focal point contrasts the prior use of the old power station stacks beautifully in terms of number and scale. The development enhances the appearance and 'riverscape' presentation of the existing power station. How sad that this scheme should be polluted by 'elected' interests.


Steven Fisher,
Planworks Architectural Design

Fellow Design Institute of Australia, Principal Member Building Designers Assoc NSW,
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03/03/09 Andrew Raftopoulos, Melbourne
The reference to "views to Westminster", is likely to refer to the backdrop to the Houses of Parliament as viewed from Westminster Bridge in the classic postcard view. I suspect that the chimney's height is such that it may loom as a badly juxtaposed intrusion on the Westminster skyline? It would be interesting to see a rendering from such an angle.

In some ways it would be sad to see the power station lose its existing dominance of scale, particularly if this development were to give rise to a spate of high rise towers immediately adjacent.

Andrew Raftopoulos
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Viñoly's iconic chimney erased from design 

Plans by Rafael Viñoly for the redevelopment of a 38-acre site surrounding historic London landmark, Battersea Power Station, are facing strain following a series of objections, concluding in those received from the London Mayor in the run up to the introduction of a new Views Management Framework.

Real Estate Opportunities Limited launched the plans for Battersea Power Station in June last year, revealing a 300m glass chimney and ‘eco-dome’ which would provide natural ventilation for the structure and add ‘green’ credentials to the project. In December the firm were forced to reduce the height of the chimney by 50m amidst strong objections from community groups and other parties. Now, British publication Building Design reports Wandsworth Council sources have advised that the chimney will now be removed completely from the design following a warning issued by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, that he was opposed to the plans due to their interference with views to Westminster.

These rumours have been substantiated by a spokesperson at the London Mayor’s office who said: “We will shortly be publishing our proposed changes to the Views Management Framework and Vauxhall/9 Elms Opportunity Area Planning Framework, which will address the permissible heights of buildings in the Battersea area and their impact on the Westminster World Heritage Site,” adding: “The Mayor believes that there is a height limit at Battersea that the tower would have breached.” Rafael Viñoly Architects stated that, “Unfortunately we are not commenting on [the matter] at this time."

The removal of the tower would mean a complete revision of the design and would throw the project’s green credentials in the air.

Viñoly's concept, due to commence construction in 2012, was set to create 20,000 jobs, 3,200 homes and improved transport links, with discussions in place to extend the Northern Line to Battersea. The project is now thrown into turmoil with questions being raised as to whether the project can even continue.

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts

Value 4000(m€)
Wid Chapman Architects

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