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Battersea Power Station Redevelopment

Battersea Power Station

In June 2008, architect Rafael Vinoly has unveiled plans for the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in London. The proposal, for developer Treasury Holdings, includes a 300 meter high tower and an ‘Eco-Dome’.

In December the firm were forced to reduce the height of the chimney by 50m amidst strong objections from community groups and other parties. Now, British publication Building Design reports Wandsworth Council sources have advised that the chimney will now be removed completely from the design following a warning issued by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, that he was opposed to the plans due to their interference with views to Westminster.

From the developers:
The Site:
Battersea Power Station is a much-loved local, national and international landmark. It stands on the largest undeveloped riverside site in central London, critical to unlocking the potential of the ‘Nine Elms’ regeneration area. Under new plans for the site currently being developed by Treasury Holdings, new homes, new jobs and better transport links will create a significant new urban quarter in Battersea – all within what will be the most sustainable development ever undertaken in Europe. The site occupies 38 acres and is at the heart of Nine Elms – an opportunity area that lies between Vauxhall and Battersea, poised to undergo extensive redevelopment. The Power Station only occupies 15% of the site the remaining area is brownfield.

By restoring the Power Station, complimenting it with world class architecture and incorporating groundbreaking energy-creation and saving measures, Treasury Holdings is committed to creating a lasting legacy for London on the Battersea Power Station site. Battersea Power Station was the first in a series of large coal- fired electrical generating facilities set up in England during the first half of the last century, as part of a National Grid power distribution system. Battersea Power Station was considered the cutting edge of power generation and an architectural triumph.

Battersea Power Station finally stopped producing power in 1983. However the building was listed in 1980, silencing any calls for its wholesale demolition. Two major developers have tried unsuccessfully over the years to regenerate the site. The first, millionaire John Broome (creator of Alton Towers), demolished the roof and west wall to remove the giant turbines as part of his plans to create a massive theme park, scheduled to open in 1990.

Nothing more happened, and Battersea Power Station was left open to the elements. Three years later, Parkview International took possession of the site. Parkview gained planning consent to develop restaurants, retail, cinemas and other cultural and commercial offerings within the existing building, alongside significant new development on the site. The plans were never realised and the Battersea Power Station site has lain dormant for a quarter of a century.

Sustainability:
Battersea may soon have a new lease of life – in the most sustainable development ever undertaken in Europe. Treasury Holdings believe true sustainability has three elements – environment, economics and social. To ensure that the development respects this, six key targets have been set:
- Sensitive regeneration of the Power Station
- Zero carbon emissions
- A sustainable public transport solution
- A sustainable mix of homes, community and leisure space, offices, shops and green spaces
- To act as a catalyst for groundbreaking regeneration of the Nine Elms area
- Totally deliverable

Treasury has a proven commitment to long-term environmental protection. Treasury Holdings is the only real estate company in the world to have a dedicated environmental division. Treasury Holdings UK was awarded Carbon Neutral Company status in May 2008. Currently developing the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Treasury holds over 100 patents for a variety of new and exciting environmental technologies as well as working on combined heat and power plants, forestry projects, ice storage air cooling and waste-to-energy systems.

Key Targets:
Treasury Holdings established six key targets for any future development of the site:
- Sensitive regeneration of the Power Station
- Zero carbon emissions
- A sustainable public transport solution
- A sustainable mix of homes, community and leisure space, offices, shops and green spaces
- To act as a catalyst for groundbreaking regeneration of the Nine Elms area
- Totally deliverable

Latest News:
The latest version of our proposals for Battersea Power Station was made public in December 2008. The scheme has evolved since the masterplan was launched in June 2008 and following the public consultation in the summer. A formal planning application is due to be submitted in Spring 2009. Since the public consultation the key changes to the scheme’s proposals are as follows:
- The Eco-Dome has been relocated on the site nearer to the Thames and has been reduced in size and scale.
- The height of the Chimney has been reduced from 300m to 250m to meet with the technical requirements of a smaller Eco-Dome, thus improving its appearance and addressing concerns about its impact on views over the Houses of Parliament.
- The frontage of the development on Battersea Park Road has been re-designed to make it more accessible and appropriate for the local context.
- Beneath the Eco-Dome we will build the world’s first carbon neutral performing arts amphitheatre with a capacity for 2,000 people It is anticipated that a resident orchestra or theatre company will be attracted to this unique covered outdoor venue.
- Other additions to the development since the masterplan was announced in June include a primary school, nursery, large health centre and a community centre.

When the scheme is complete, the development will be home to some 7,000 new residents and up to 13,000 new jobs will be created. 3,500 homes will be built on the site and 2,500 jobs will be created during the construction phase. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 and the development will be complete by 2020 – subject to timescales through the planning process.

Published with permission of ArchiCentral.

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