Battersea Power Station was partly designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Scott was commissioned to design the building’s exterior following public protests that the building would be clumsy and ugly. Scott was brought in to appease public reaction, and it worked a charm with the station’s design being widely accepted.
Scott designed the exterior in the brick-cathedral style. This is a stripped down, highly functional form of Medieval style. Battersea Power Station is one of the most toned-down examples. To the untrained eye, it does not resemble a cathedral at all. The four-chimneys, set into wide breasts, give away the game by resembling spires.
The design and specification was already agreed before public protects sparked a rethink by the board. The architectural team was headed by Dr. Leonard Pearce who oversaw a talented team of architects and engineers. Scott was brought in on the project well after the exterior design was finished. He moved onto the team and was given free reign by the board to change the appearance to something the public would go with.
Construction of Station A began in March 1929. It first started generating electricity in 1933, despite not being finished until 1935. At the end of the second world war, construction of Station B began. The second station came into operation in 1953.
Station A and Station B worked together until March 1975 when Station A was closed. Three years later, Station B followed, putting the building into decommission.
Today, the iconic site is being brought back to life by investors. It is being transformed into an exciting new neighbourhood with luxury accommodation.