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Past Watch Site
BATTERSEA POWER STATION
London, United Kingdom
Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s graceful Art Deco Battersea Power Station defines the River Thames just west of the Houses of Parliament. Built in 1932 to generate power for the city of London, the Battersea Power Station is the largest brick structure in Europe and includes some of the finest Art Deco interiors of the era. Largely abandoned since the 1980s, its front two chimneys and gently dilapidated dock provide a contemplative landmark, massive in scale, yet quietly settled within its surroundings. Since abandonment, the site has been threatened with demolition a number of times. Due to these threats, the station was placed on the 2004 Watch, and is now no longer in danger of being demolished.
Despite two unsuccessful redevelopment plans, structural work at the station has cleared the way for this beloved icon to open its doors to the public. Although a larger mixed-use master plan is currently awaiting planning approval, the future seems brighter for this embattled landmark. Battersea Power Station’s listing on the 2004 Watch list raised the visibility in the battle to preserve industrial heritage.
The site of many technological achievements, Battersea Power Station is an important example of an electricity-generating station in a city center location. During its time of operation, the station was the third-largest power plant in the UK and has been praised as an urban monument of citywide importance for more than forty years. Its four great chimney stacks are an indelible part of London’s skyline. The site was awarded Grade II status for its special architectural and historic interest and achieved cultural fame through exposure as the cover shot of Pink Floyd’s celebrated 1977 album, Animals.
The Power Station building and the surrounding site are currently in the approval stage for private redevelopment. The developer currently expects construction to begin in 2012, with a first phase completed by 2016. January 2011