New images of completed £1.15bn scheme described as “the Everest of real estate”

Mace and Wilkinson Eyre’s £1.15bn redevelopment of Battersea Power Station is set to open its doors next week for the first time in the building’s 90-year history.

The architect has unveiled images of the finished scheme ahead of its official opening on 14 October, nearly a decade after the firm was appointed to lead London’s biggest restoration job.

Some two million sq ft of mixed-use space has been created inside Europe’s largest brick building, with visitors set to be offered more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafes including Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo and Mulberry. 

It will also contain more than 250 new homes and a 500,000sq ft office for Apple spanning six floors and housing 1,400 of the tech giant’s staff, while the building’s two original control rooms have been fully restored and converted into events spaces.

The former power station, designed by British architect Giles Gilbert Scott and completed in 1935, once supplied 20% of London’s electricity but was left unoccupied for decades following its decommissioning in 1983.

Several failed attempts at redeveloping the site followed, including a notorious bid to convert the building into a theme park in the late 1980s which saw the roof and some of the walls removed so that turbines and boilers could be lifted out.

It has been under the custodianship of current shareholders Sime Darby Property, S P Setia and EPF since 2012. Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and EPF stepped in to buy the building for £1.6bn in 2019 and have seen the cost of the job, which has been described as “the Everest of real estate”, spiral from £750m to £1.15bn.

Simon Murphy, chief executive officer at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said it had taken “a lot of hard work, determination, and the continued commitment of the Malaysian shareholders over the past 10 years to bring Battersea Power Station back to its former glory”.

“We can’t wait to welcome the first visitors, and show the local community, Londoners, and the rest of the world, the historic beauty of the Grade II*-listed building, which has been transformed into London’s most unique destination for all to enjoy,” he said.

Also opening next Friday will be a new pedestrianised high street known as Electric Boulevard which will run from the south of the power station to Frank Gehry’s Prospect Place and Foster + Partners’ Battersea Roof Gardens to the Grimshaw-designed Battersea Power Station tube station which opened last year.

The opening day will be marked by a free five-day festival running in two parts from 14 to 16 October and 22 to 23 October, with the programme including a duelling spectacle by Arcadia’s Lords of Lightning involving two ‘Lords’ firing multi-million volt bolts of electricity at each other, and live music from the Battersea Power Station Community Choir, World Heart Beat Music Academy and Setia Drummers.