Allies & Morrison unveils Battersea Power Station plans

Elizabeth Hopkirk

Allies & Morrison's Battersea montage

Source: Allies & Morrison

Proposals jointly drawn up with Save Britain’s Heritage

Allies & Morrison this week became the latest architect to draw up plans to overhaul Battersea Power Station, and said its proposals are rooted in practicality, rather than pie-in-the-sky visions.

The firm was contacted by Save Britain’s Heritage president Marcus Binney at the end of last year to come up with an alternative following the collapse of the Irish-backed Rafael Vinoly scheme in November.

Property group Knight Frank is now handling the sale for administrator Ernst & Young and is hoping to raise up to £500 million for creditors from a building which it has likened to the Chrysler Building in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Morrison, who worked on successful plans by Save to get a change of use approved by Wandsworth Council back in 1981, told BD: “Ours is a very practical idea not romantic nor financially so ambitious.”

Vinoly’s plan originally included a 300m high ‘eco-dome’, later ditched, while previous proposals for the site have included a theme park and a huge shopping complex.

The Allies & Morrison scheme involves turning the Boiler House into an 11,000 seat arena able to host concerts and events while the neighbouring Turbine Halls will be used to host exhibitions, receptions and launches. The former coal bunker area and Grade II listed Water Pumping Station will be kept. Housing would be built on surrounding land.

Morrison said the Boiler House could be quickly used in a “raw state” as an open air venue with a roof, raised floor and hospitality boxes added in later stages.

The plans will be unveiled at event being held this Friday at the Building Centre in London organised by heritage group the Twentieth Century Society.

Among the speakers will be Terry Farrell who has also come up with a scheme to ensure the station is not flattened. Welcoming Allies & Morrison’s proposals, he said: “For too long the professional ethos is we should sit tight until we have a client but that’s really unhelpful. It’s good for architects to come forward with ideas.”

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