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Latest phase of London redevelopment completes two new buildings

Adaptive Reuse

Latest phase of London redevelopment completes two new buildings

Developers are creating a neighborhood for 25,000 residents and workers.


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | June 6, 2024
Two new buildings near Battersea Power Station
Battersea Roof Gardens and 50 Electric Boulevard are part of the third phase of the Battersea Power Station masterplan. Image credits: Aaron Hargreaves and Simon Young/Foster + Partners

The recent completion of two Foster + Partners-designed buildings concludes Phase 3 of the Battersea Power Station masterplan, an eight-phase, $11.5 billion project that is transforming a 42-acre former brownfield site in London. At the heart of the project is the iconic coal-fired power station that opened in full in 1955 but was decommissioned in 1975 and vacated in 2014. The year before, a Malaysian investment consortium entered into an agreement with Ernst & Young to move forward on the redevelopment.

When this mixed-use redevelopment reaches the finish line, it will be home and workplace to 25,000 Londoners, supported by more than 250 retail, food, and beverage venues; a hotel, a medical center, and more than 19 acres of public space with just under 1,500 ft of frontage along the Thames River and a six-acre park. The office district within this redevelopment will have over 3 million sf of commercial space.

Rooftop garden one of the city’s largest

The neighborhood and business quarter that this redevelopment creates will be serviced by a Zone 1 extension to the London Underground Northern Line and the Phase 2 restoration of the Power Station into a mixed-use building that houses Apple’s London campus, retail stores, a cinema, a 24,000-sf food hall, a glass chimney lift, and hundreds of apartments. It opened on October 14, 2022, and is owned by the Malaysian investors.

Phase 3, which just completed, consists of six 17- and 18-story buildings with more than 900 housing units, constructed over a three-story basement. Gehry Partners designed five of the residential blocks, known as Prospect Place and The Flower. Foster + Partners designed the Battersea Roof Gardens building with 436 apartments and a 164-key art’otel London Battersea Power Station. The building is topped by a massive rooftop garden, designed by James Corner Field Operations, with 23,000 plants and 55 trees, as well as a grassy area for social gatherings.

Guests staying at the hotel have access to their own rooftop garden with a lounge bar and infinity pool that overlooks the power station’s iconic chimneys. 

Guests who stay at the hotel have access to their own rooftop garden with a lounge bar and infinity pool that overlooks the power station’s signature chimneys. A Sky Lounge on the 14th and 15th floors features a sunset bar, workspaces, cinema room, and areas for relaxation. Penthouse apartments have their own 3,350-sf private terraces.

Gebrüder Schneider and Radeburger Fensterbau provided 6,500 aluminum elements for the building’s 52,000-sm wave-shaped facade.

Connecting the buildings to the city

 

Electric Boulevard is a split-level high street that runs from the Zone 1 Battersea Power Station Underground station to the Grade II* listed landmark

Foster + Partners also designed 50 Electric Boulevard, on the south side of the neighborhood, with approximately 200,000 sf of new office space over 13 above-ground floors, as well as over 100 shops, bars, restaurants, and leisure venues.

Positoned between these two buildings is a double-height pavilion, called the Light Box, with a 240-person capacity for private and communal functions, illuminated by roof lights and appointed by lush greenery. The lobby of 50 Electric Boulevard connects to a pedestrian thoroughfare known locally as a High Street. Underneath 50 Electric Boulevard is a new entrance to the Battersea Power Station subway stop; that entrance will be open by next spring.

50 Electric Boulevard prioritizes sustainability through its design. 

“Our scheme plays an integral role in creating a brand=new neighborhood for London, and most importantly, it connects the iconic power station to the city that surrounds it,” said Grant Booker, Foster + Partners’ Head of Studio Andy Bow, a Senior Partner at the firm, added that Electric Boulevard “acts as a gateway” to the power station from the subway.

The new buildings and high street share a gently undulating form, which has been designed to maximize views of the power station. 

Buro Happold provided multi-disciplinary engineering services across Phase 3. On its website, the firm stated that the geometry of the Gehry buildings is complex, leading to each floor slab having a different plan shape. The structure of the Battersea Rooftop Gardens building is broken up with a series of high-level garden spaces, which cut through the building, creating challenging structural demands.

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