13 November 2010
Bulldoze Battersea Power Station?
Ooh this should rile a few people... but here goes...
The latest plans for the shell of what used to be this wonderful building is to convert it into shops and offices; er, haven't we been here been here before? A few times, even?
And is it really going to happen this time?
I have always hoped that BPS could be brought back to life in a good way, but after all the years of neglect I am starting to think that someone should have the balls to just knock the thing down now and start again from scratch – after all, the new developments that surround it, like the Howard and Warwick buildings, haven't exactly been built with any sympathy to it – it just looks silly surrounded by all those charmless glass boxes.
When BPS was originally built as part of the National Grid system it was an architectural showcase full of polished metal and waxed wood, to show the rest of the world what Britain was capable of. Workers there had to wear felt over-shoes so as not to mark the expensive parquet flooring. But all that is long gone and what is left has been ruined thanks to the removal of the roof decades ago. It's all so sad. What are we really trying to hold onto anymore? And do we really need yet another shopping centre?
The latest plans look to me to be extremely similar to the Kings Cross development. Everywhere is gonna end up looking the same; it's all so homogenous.
Below is a collection of architectural images mostly taken in the immediate Nine Elms vicinity. Also included are two shots featuring that hideous Albion Riverside Building, which is further upstream.