History was made at London’s Battersea Power Station this week, as the former coal-fired power station, which lay dormant and derelict for decades after it was decommissioned in the 1980s, opened the doors to its first-ever residents following a major transformation to restore and repurpose one of the capital’s most loved landmarks.
Homeowners were handed the keys to their new homes in the Grade II* listed building following the completion of Switch House West, the first major element of the Power Station to complete. The rest of the building will be completed in stages throughout the rest of the year, with residents moving into the Boiler House and Switch House East in the coming months.
The occasion was marked on 24 May 2021 with a special public performance by members of the London Symphony Orchestra, who played at the foot of the Power Station, alongside Battersea Power Station’s own Community Choir, as visitors and residents enjoyed alfresco dining at the restaurants and bars along the riverfront. A video and special ‘welcome home’ message to residents was also projected onto the front of the Power Station, and new public artwork has been displayed across the riverfront as part of a host of activities celebrating the milestone.
Half a million square feet of office space in the building is also set to be handed over to Apple this summer to commence the fit-out of its new London Campus. Retail and F&B brands will begin fitting out their units later in the year ahead of the Power Station opening to the public from next year.
The Northern Line Extension is on track to open from this Autumn, with a new Zone One London Underground Station at Battersea Power Station significantly enhancing the connectivity of this part of London.
Much progress is also being made to Electric Boulevard, the third phase of the project, which comprises buildings to the south of the Power Station by Gehry Partners and Battersea Roof Gardens.
The Power Station – recognised worldwide as a cultural and architectural icon – is at the heart of one of central London’s largest, most visionary and eagerly anticipated new developments, involving the transformation of a 42-acre former industrial brownfield site into a thriving new town centre for London, comprising new homes, shops, cafes, restaurants, offices, event spaces and over 19 acres of public space including a six-acre park.
Dato’ Ahmad Pardas Senin, Chairman of Battersea Project Holding Company, said, “As custodians of this globally significant building, it is with great pleasure that we welcome residents into the Power Station for the first time in history. This is a proud day for Malaysia and the consortium of shareholders who transformed this historic building into a sustainable city living address while restoring the landmark and giving it a new lease of life.”
Datuk Wong Tuck Wai, Chairman of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said, “Strong progress continues to be made across the entire project, and we are delighted to see the Malaysian Vision for this thriving new London neighbourhood now becoming a
reality. Congratulations to the team who had worked relentlessly to see this through, especially during this challenging COVID-19 pandemic period.”
Simon Murphy, CEO of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said, “Thanks to all of the shareholders and their unwavering commitment, together with all those involved in the restoration of this landmark building, we can confidently say that the Everest of Real Estate, which the Power Station was once famously nicknamed, has finally been scaled.
“Our Power Station residents join an already thriving community of people living, working and enjoying this new riverside destination. Following this latest significant milestone, we now look forward to completing the remaining elements of the Power Station ahead of opening to the public next year.”
Once open to the public, Battersea Power Station will house over 100 shops, bars and restaurants, as well as unique events and leisure spaces, including the Chimney Lift Experience, which will be operated by global events and entertainment leader IMG. The glass elevator will transport visitors 109m up inside one of the Power Station’s iconic chimneys before they emerge at the top to enjoy unrivalled 360o views of the capital’s skyline.
Circus West Village, the first chapter in the regeneration of Battersea Power Station, is already home to over 1,500 residents and over 20 bars, restaurants, cafés and fitness and leisure offerings, including Gordon Ramsay’s Street Pizza, Francesco Mazzei’s Fiume, The Turbine Theatre, Be Military Fit, DNA VR, Black Sheep Coffee, Boom Cycle and Archlight Cinema. The thriving riverside neighbourhood welcomes over three million people on average each year thanks to its annual events programme. Last year’s highlights included the Light Festival at Battersea Power Station and Summer Showtime on The Coaling Jetty, London’s first open-air cinema/ theatre experience.
With the Northern Line being extended to give this new neighbourhood its very own Zone 1 London Underground station this year, Battersea Power Station is expected to draw Londoners, international visitors and workers from across the capital with journey times to the West End and the City taking approximately 15 minutes. It will be one of the go-to places for South West London, boosting the local economy and creating over 17,000 jobs.
Visit batterseapowerstation.co.uk and follow @BatterseaPwrStn to keep up to date with all the latest information.