Farrells' vision for Battersea Power Station
Proposal would slash cost of preserving grade II*building, claims architect
Terry Farrell and Partners is to make a listed building application to allow parts of Battersea Power Station to be demolished, claiming it is the only way to save the structure.
The practice is assembling a team of specialists including engineer and conservationist Alan Baxter to work up an application at its own cost. It could be submitted within a month.
It would preserve the most important parts of the grade II* listed power station, including the front and back walls, the chimneys and the art deco control rooms, but allow other parts to be demolished.
This would reduce the cost of repairing the building from £90 milion to £25 million, said Terry Farrell.
His practice published a speculative vision when the site went into administration in December. This proposed replacing the side walls with a colonnade and creating a park in the central void.
In an interview in today’s Evening Standard he said: “Giles Gilbert Scott is one of the greatest architects of the 20th century and to bring this monumental temple alive again would be incredibly exciting. I believe that submitting a listed building application is the only way forward now, in order to preserve the iconic parts of the power station and unblock the ‘bigness’ that has thwarted all previous attempts to redevelop it.
“The most important thing is the relationship of the mass overall to the great void inside, and I find all attempts to fill it up and to make money – whether shopping, leisure, conferencing or a football stadium — deeply upsetting.
“The glorious sculptural remains of Fountains Abbey or the Parthenon in Athens have a retained sense of their spatial order. Our proposal for a colonnade and park retains the sense of the great void inside as well as the external view of the silhouette.”
Farrells is not attached to the project but is working across west London. Last night it won approval for its neighbouring Embassy Gardens masterplan in Nine Elms, and for the first phase of its Earls Court masterplan in Seagrave Road.
Wandsworth Council granted outline planning permission for Farrells’ Embassy Gardens masterplan, as well as detailed permission for a first phase comprising three building plots to the west of the proposed US embassy, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley, AHMM and Flacq.
Developer Ballymore’s proposals include up to 165,000sq m of residential, commercial and retail development on a 6ha site.
The first phase totals around 85,000sq m and includes 605 residential units, a health and leisure centre and a grocery store.
A second phase would contain almost 1,000 flats and houses.
The masterplan is designed around a linear park running through the site, linking Vauxhall Cross to Battersea Park.
The architects’ design statement described the first phase as “a collection of bold and exciting buildings that share a common architectural language within a high-quality urban landscape setting.”
Meanwhile Hammersmith and Fulham Council approved plans by John McAslan and Patel Taylor for a residential development in Seagrave Road, the first phase of Farrells’ Earls Court masterplan.
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