Powering Battersea growth

09 Dec 2011

Farrells release radical proposals for Battersea Power Station, hoping to improve its unfavourable appearance

Terry Farrell & Partners is a firm with over 40 years architectural experience, renowned for a history of work administered into various famous cityscapes. Their latest challenge – the proposals of which have recently been released – is to enhance the area of the Battersea Power station, in South London, whilst lessening the forceful impact that this former power station produces. The aim is to make Battersea a sought-after location for prospective clientele, searching for a new place to live; despite its prized place along the River Thames, work to improve the region’s aesthetics and appeal has been deemed an absolute necessity.

The fresh approach seeks to think big conceptually, whilst avoiding the common solution of attempting to build big. From an early stage it was decided the project would not be forced to rely on an extravagant multi-million pound tube station, or the, potentially, equally costly enterprise of fully replacing the existing, deteriorating ex industrial building. Sir Terry, head of the project architects, said; “We have to learn lessons from the problems that have thwarted previous attempts to redevelop this much loved landmark.” The first lesson that informs Farrell’s proposal is that little will happen whilst there is still a gigantic ruin in the middle of the site.

In order to negate the harsh visual effect resonating from the abandoned building, a complete open-plan effect will be incorporated into the overall structure. Preserving both the front and back sections, complete with adorning chimneys, the joining walls will be completely removed, and replaced with a minimalistic framework. From the river, this will appear solid and retain the full grandeur of the buildings form. From the sides, however, it will be open, so that within the site and from the surrounding flats there will be views through the colonnade, where large, generous parkland will be employed. Such a unique patch of greenery would prove the perfect host for leisure and an occasional staged event. Ornately aligned trees continue from the base up along the Thames riverfront.

Whilst this will be the heart of the project, additional improvements will be sort elsewhere. Providing increased transportation routes a surface tram link will service increased people traffic, at a fraction of the cost of a tube line.

Tom Aston

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