Gehry and Foster unveil designs for
Battersea Power Station redevelopment

| 55 comments
 

News: architects Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners have today presented designs for a neighbourhood of 1300 homes, for the third phase in the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in south London.

Gehry and Foster unveil designs for Battersea Power Station redevelopment
Phase three masterplan

Los Angeles firm Gehry Partners is collaborating with London office Foster + Partners on the residential development that will connect the repurposed power station with a new London Underground station, as part of Rafael Viñoly's masterplan for the 17-hectare site.

Gehry and Foster unveil designs for Battersea Power Station redevelopment
Phase three masterplan

Central to the development will be a pedestrianised high street, known as The Electric Boulevard. To its west, Gehry has designed a cluster of five residential buildings known as Prospect Place, while Foster + Partners has developed one large apartment block known as The Skyline, which will be located to the east.

Prospect Place will accommodate around half of the 1300 new homes, as well as double-height shops, a community centre and a park. All five buildings will feature Gehry's signature rippled facades, and the central structure will also be given a sculptural flower-shaped plan.

Gehry and Foster unveil designs for Battersea Power Station redevelopment
Phase three masterplan facing Prospect Place

"Our goal from the start has been to create a neighbourhood that connects into the historic fabric of the city of London, but one that has its own identity and integrity," said Gehry. "We have tried to create humanistic environments that feel good to live in and visit."

The Skyline is designed as an undulating volume with two levels of shops at its base and a 250-metre garden on its roof. Affordable housing will be contained within its southern tip, while a medical centre and a 160-room hotel will be housed at the northern end.

Gehry and Foster unveil designs for Battersea Power Station redevelopment
The Skyline by Foster + Partners

"It will transform the area and create a vibrant new district for south London that we can all be proud of," said Grant Brooker, design director and senior partner at Foster + Partners, which is based in nearby Wandsworth.

New York architect Rafael Viñoly developed the masterplan for the Battersea Power Station site, which will provide a total of 3400 new homes once complete.

Gehry and Foster unveil designs for Battersea Power Station redevelopment
Roof gardens of The Skyline by Foster + Partners

"We have set out to make Battersea a showcase for the world's very best architects and the designs we are unveiling today demonstrate that commitment in action," said Battersea Power Station Development Company CEO Rob Tincknell earlier today.

"Phase three is an important part of our plans for the power station site, creating a new thoroughfare which will be at the heart of the new vibrant community. We are determined to create a genuine sense of place, and developing landmark buildings in which people are proud to make their home and work in is vital to us achieving that aim," he added.

Gehry and Foster unveil designs for Battersea Power Station redevelopment
Aerial masterplan

Originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station has been out of use since 1983 and has been subject to a number of unsuccessful proposals over the last 30 years, including a stadium for Chelsea Football Cluba public garden and a theme park.

London firm Wilkinson Eyre is now working on the renovation of the power station, with the reconstruction of the iconic chimneys due to start imminently. Ian Simpson Architects and dRMM are carrying out phase one of the surrounding development, known as Circus West, which has been under construction since July 2013.

  • Kris

    Somebody please stop this madness.

    • kibera

      Unfortunately, this is the way London is going at the moment . This is like the 80′s all over again, but now it’s all dodgy foreign money from people who do not are about this city and just want to make money, and
      Boris is supporting the lot. RIP London.

  • stefan

    This is what happens when you let investors draw up your plans. This masterplan is dense! Not a very good thing!

  • Aaron

    This seems to suggest that the view of the power station from the Thames will be completely blocked by this development? I really hope that’s not the case. Could it be any more hemmed in. When you end up with something like this you really have to wonder if there’s any point in preserving it at all.

  • Trent

    Dear god, no.

  • disqus_qwhhYKtlaK

    This isn’t madness. This is Sparta.

  • James

    This should not go ahead if views of the power station are to be restricted.

  • Jeremy

    How does it compromise the views from the Thames? Both of the buildings featured in the article are on the land side of the station.

  • djnn24

    I’m sure there’s plenty of better, lesser known architects which could have done a better job. Dezeen – please set up campaign against it, we cannot let this happen.

  • http://www.bradleylbowers.com/ Bradley L Bowers

    Let the hating begin. I love that when they (Dezeen) posts something of greater impact, the comment “boards” are desolate, but the minute… the second there is a prominent designer or architect’s name attached, the bats come out the rafters.

    • kamil kibar

      I would love to see what would happen if Dezeen announced a Corbusier or Mies building to be erected on its original site, and the commenters of the social media were asked to imagine we’re in the 50′s.

      • tohu777

        So, ALL these Dezeen commenters are airhead lemmings, jumping to denigrate a project without care for aesthetics, utility, the site, etc? Seems more than a bit unlikely (not to say uncharitable and condescending, too).

  • mitate

    I could cry salty tears; where have I been all these years? Listen you, tell me do, how long has this been going on?

  • Evan

    In the second paragraph Battersea Power Station is referred to as a “victorian power station”. Err Art Deco?

  • Daedalus

    Just what we need, another money-laundry high-end residential project in London! Thank you Gehry and Foster, you are true masters. In the meanwhile we non-godly architects will keep living in expensive derelict flats across the capital that we can’t even afford to buy because of lousy speculative projects like this.

  • Jakub

    Norman, please stop drinking with Frank and go home.

  • Dan

    This is an answer to the question “how many times can you do the same thing?”

    • kate

      Answer: ‘yawn’

  • David G Scott

    What a mess, great gramps would not be happy!

  • Susie Blackburn

    Is this a late April Fool?

  • http://reallywellmade.co.uk Really Well Made

    Wow. SO much hate. For a minute there I thought we were on the Daily Express/Mail website. Can nobody read a plan? The power station is completely unobstructed Thames side! The F&P’s roof top gardens look amazing and it’s great to have a Gehry building in the capital.

    • Kris

      Great to have Gehry building in the capital? Are you bonkers? Read up on Gehry architecture.

    • djnn24

      But it will still be obstructed from every other angle. I used to love seeing it – and still do – on my train journeys up to London.

      So now I won’t be able to appreciate it unless I stand on the other side of the river.

  • Rob

    These will make nice weekend apartments for Chelsea and Fulham residents. This is exactly what London and its inhabitants need in my opinion, good use of money and land.

    • James Burt

      In my book any large scale supply side effort helps address the main issue in London. Add to that FINALLY regenerating a prime brownfield site in central London. The issue arising from uninhabited properties should be addressed by some form of taxation. Perhaps the money it generated being ploughed back into subsidising affordable units.

  • http://be.net/bassel Bassel

    It’s easy to tell that without Ghery’s touch, Foster’s block would make the project look like a 70′s mediocre Miami resort, roof garden notwithstanding. Foster’s design is so outdated it won’t even compete with – nor outlast – a century old power station.

  • Fabrisse

    The Gehry bits look like his Stata Center in Cambridge, MA which has major issues with things like raining indoors and furniture placement (because none of the walls is squared). Damn, this is bad.

  • Ah!

    Nice Car Park (NCP) Norman!

  • D
  • Derek_V

    Dear Frank,

    Please stay out of our city.

    The Londoners

  • Tomas

    The sad part is that the planners approved it! The professional that should act on our behalf, they approved it! The future of the power station area will be unfortunately just a missed opportunity.

  • pc

    Hmm, the same old Gehry: 8 Spruce St, Opus in Hong Kong and now this. The original ‘Fred and Ginger’ in Paris was great, but how many times can you wheel out the same idea or wobbly facade treatment and still retain that development finance attracting ‘starchitect’ status?

  • Ralph Kent

    For non-residents, by non-residents.

  • Mattowski

    This looks to be a very dense development with those walking down the ‘electric boulevard’ seeing quite a restricted view of the amazing power station, natural sunlight will be limited too.

    Ultimately it’s quite unoriginal, walk a few hundred metres west down the Thames and you’ll see a very similar set of apartments. All purchased by rich foreign investors to not live in and make money. So much for community, there won’t be one unless there are a large amount of affordable apartments for those of more modest budget.

  • Ralph Kent

    It has been dead for about 10-15 years now. It’s now primarily the preserve of overseas speculators and money-launderers and is morphing into a low-rate version of Hong Kong to accommodate their desire to park their money in property that they will never inhabit.

  • Andy

    A render with the Pink Floyd pig would have given this project tenfold credibility. A classic case of Ghery’s soiled tissue aesthetic.

  • Matt

    This is so awful it is offensive. Architects of this “calibre” should be able to produce something complimentary and interesting, not vulgar and overbearing. The beauty of the power station (in my opinion) is its isolation and presence on the site, they should leave it undeveloped as a monument to industrial architecture.

    • Erin

      Wholeheartedly agree with this. One of my favourite buildings in the UK and as much as I appreciate Foster and Gehry’s work, they have not done this project justice at all. Sad.

  • Harri

    This does not connect into the historic fabric of London at any scale other than having a similar massing to the soulless Chelsea Bridge Wharf development next to it.

  • aurelio rey

    Frank is into plastic saran wrap, ughhh!

  • Nick

    I doubt this is because of the designers (although I’m not a fan of much that Gehry has done since Bilbao), this is most probably down to the amount of floorspace demanded by the developers.

    • djnn24

      Yeah, very true. Just a shame it’s going to ruin such a beautiful building.

  • LOW

    Carnage.

  • Brennan Murray

    How exactly is this idea being fulfilled? “Our goal from the start has been to create a neighbourhood that connects into the historic fabric of the city of London, but one that has its own identity and integrity”.

    Neither building relates to the other nor do they connect to a “historic London”. Gehry has certainly fulfilled the own identity part though. I would much rather an architect to say, “I wanted to make my mark” or “I just wanted to stamp out another statement piece.” Instead of giving any answer or explanation of how the building came to be as it is. And for Norman’s contribution I agree with the commenter here: “Foster’s block would make the project look like a 70′s mediocre Miami resort”

  • thecitygeek

    Battersea Power Station deserves much better than to be hidden behind walls of generic bling-bling architecture. My blog post: http://thecitygeek.tumblr.com/post/82384387613/battersea-development-soul-for-sale

  • http://architektura.me/ Architektura Architekt

    Hello, this is Gehry’s Prague dancing house once again?

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=gehry+prague+dancing+house :)

  • Matt Underwood

    The real problem with this design is that it could be anywhere. The fact that the power plant is next to it is irrelevant. It says nothing about anything, it simply exists.

    • ML

      I do agree with you. No care at all about the context!
      It could be anywhere else but please not there just by the Battersea!

  • djnn24

    Well said!

  • Михал Куница

    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, London to Gehry…

  • djnn24

    Although there aren’t economic benefits of this design, Farrell’s public park idea…

    http://www.dezeen.com/2011/12/09/farrells-release-alternative-proposals-for-battersea-power-station

    …would allow everyone to enjoy the building, rather than the select few multi-millionaires.

    Thanks for ruining London Frank!

  • Natalie

    How could we go against these projects?

  • John Cleese

    Nobody can tell him just to STOP!

  • Freddy Garcia

    Overkill!

  • rideforever

    Gehry’s name is used to sell this to the planners. He has no new ideas. All his buildings look the same. He can’t even make them elegant anymore. What rat wants to be stuck in this glorified box with 20,000 other rats? Is this living?

    The flats are tiny and start at half a million… Crickey, you can retire in Thailand for that money.

    These buildings aren’t even part of Battersea Power Station, they are in the swamp behind. It’s a good thing they will be sold first to the mugs who like to be in debt.

    Get in your box and get into debt, like good sheep-people.