Wilkinson Eyre scheme includes rooftop housing and garden and an observation lift rising to the top of a chimney

Plans have been unveiled for the transformation of Battersea Power Station by architect Wilkinson Eyre on behalf of Battersea Power Station Development Company.

The mixed-use scheme will include rooftop housing and a garden, open unobstructed turbine halls and an observation lift that will rise to the top of one of the building’s famous chimneys.

The power station will contain a new events space; shops, restaurants and cafes; open-plan office spaces; homes on the top around a garden square, as well as to either side of the structure.  The proposals comprise 40,000 sq m of shops, cafes and restaurants; 58,000 sq m of offices and 248 homes.

Under the proposals, the power station will be open to the public permanently, for the first time, in 2019. 

A public consultation begins tomorrow.

Key proposed features:

  • Open, unobstructed turbine halls - Both turbine halls are to be left largely unobstructed internally so that visitors immediately experience the cavernous presence of each turbine hall and can enjoy the interior architecture at the scale for which it was originally designed.  This has been achieved by proposing that the cafes, shops and restaurants are recessed off the sides of the turbine halls.
  • A full height void (to provide views of chimneys from inside) - The creation of a full-height void space behind the southern wall of the Boiler House, thereby giving visitors the visual impact of views from the ground floor all the way up the internal wall and out to the chimneys above.
  • A central atrium - The creation of a new central atrium in the Boiler House, in place of the eight smaller atria; thereby enabling more natural light to penetrate the central part of the Power Station and allowing visitors to see up to the sky from inside the building. 
  • A public viewing platform - The addition of a concealed lift to provide access to a public viewing platform at the top of north-west chimney, which will enable visitors to enjoy panoramic views of London at a height of 110m without compromising the profile of the iconic chimneys.

Rob Tincknell, chief executive officer for Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “It’s really important to everyone involved in this incredible project that we get the restoration and future use of the power station exactly right. 

“We feel that what we are proposing retains and respects the integrity of this historic landmark whilst also creating vibrant living, working and recreational space that this part of London needs. The scheme that we are proposing will see the building restored, opened up to the public and safeguarded for future generations.”

Jim Eyre, director of Wilkinson Eyre, said: “We wanted to ensure that the proposed designs were consistent with and sympathetic to Sir Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece, with the chimneys and turbine halls remaining the dominant features of the building.

“It was important to us to retain the power station’s sense of scale and visual drama, which is achieved through design features such as the full-height glass void behind the southern wall and the vast, central atrium.  It was also really important to restore a sense of energy to the building so that people have a rewarding experience each and every time they visit.”