Battersea Power Station is at the heart of one of central London’s largest, most visionary and eagerly anticipated new developments, which will see this vast 42-acre (over 8 million sq ft) former industrial brownfield site become home to a community of homes, shops, bars, restaurants, cafes, offices and over 19 acres of public space.
The £9bn project will see the creation of a vibrant, mixed-use development, a new neighbourhood and business quarter for London, serviced by a Zone 1 extension to the London Underground Northern Line and the restoration of the Grade II* listed Power Station.
The overall project is divided into eight phases, with each designed by a range of specialist architects. The first chapter of the development, Circus West Village, was completed in 2017 and is now home to over 1,800 residents, as well as an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, including a cinema and theatre.
The Power Station will be the second phase to open to the public. This truly mixed-use building will be home to Apple’s London Campus, hundreds of new shops housed in the historic turbines’ halls, a c.2000 capacity event venue, a 18,500 sq ft food hall, a glass chimney lift and hundreds of new homes.
25,000 people will be living and working here when the development is complete, creating one of London’s largest office, retail, leisure and cultural quarters. Across the 42-acre site a new 24/7 community will be formed with over 250 shops, cafes and restaurants, theatre, hotel, medical centre and 19 acres of public space including 450 metres of river frontage and a six acre public park. Battersea Power Station will be a new office district with over 3 million sq. ft of commercial space alongside new private and affordable homes.
Detailed description of Robert Bird Group’s involvement
There is a significant and complex interface between the development and the new London Underground station that will form the terminus of the Northern Line Extension. When completed, Phase 4 of the development will be partially constructed above the station and the running tunnels and a basement of up to 3 levels will be formed directly adjacent to the station box. As the design of Phase 4 is in the conceptual stage a high degree of flexibility is needed around this interface to ensure that the form and use of the future development are not significantly restricted by the station. RBG lead the liaison with LUL to ensure that the design of the station box allows for the potential to support a flexible grid of columns from the future Phase 4. In addition, we have lead process to gain technical approval for the construction of a 3 storey basement the directly abuts the station box together with a series of large diameter piles that may be formed in between the NLE tunnels and at a clear distance of less than 1m from them.
A number of strategic Thames Water assets run below the Battersea masterplan including the London Ring Main. RBG have developed a good working relationship with Thames Water and have significant experience of closing out technical approvals with them on numerous projects across London. This has recently included leading the technical approval process across Phases 4 and 6. Recognising this, Battersea have appointed RBG to lead the interface with Thames Water across all phases and coordinate the submissions from the engineers on phases where RBG are not the structural or civil lead.
As part of the site wide infrastructure, RBG designed and delivered a multi-staged road system to provide public access to the recently completed Phase 1, and construction access to Phase 2 and Phase 3. This required major works within a constrained site including an underpass and 52.0m bridge section.
RBG has provided a lead role in coordinating the utility provision across the site including liaison with statutory undertakers and distribution through multiple phases and the NLE station. Given the non-standard routing, RBG provided 3D modelling to demonstrate access arrangements in obtaining approvals from the relevant utility providers.
Lessons learnt/Value added
Our appropriate use of ‘first principles engineering’ combined with numerical ground modelling has resulted in gaining design approvals from Thames Water that have saved significant cost and achieved programme optimization together with de-risking elements of the project.
We have also presented construction sequencing analysis and planning, geotechnical and structural advice for the future phases 4 to 7 to assist development’s Masterplan. RBG identified lowest risk sequencing options for the future phases, allowing Battersea to optimise efficiencies across the various phases and effectively de-risking the development in the long term.
RBG’s understanding of the site wide infrastructure was key to develop a Design and Construction Constraints Brief, with related heat maps, that could be used as a guidance in the masterplan of the future phases. The aim was to optimise the space, maximizing building in the areas that have minimal risk and avoiding the biggest constraints. On doing so, RBG avoided issues that could lead to cost premiums and delays, like the lining works on the London Ring Main, which saved £20 million to the client.
By developing a site in a way that embraces constraints you are inherently contributing to provide the most sustainable design, optimizing the use of material for the biggest return to the environment. RBG’s expertise and guidance have greatly contributed to this achievement.
Battersea Power Station engaged with the local communities embracing sustainable design to ensure they deliver an integrated assessment that covers all the aspects of BREEAM communities and building-levels. As an example, brown roofs have been created to provide a suitable habitat for certain bird species as well as invertebrates and ruderal plants.
- 42 acre site
- 25,000 people living and working on site
- 40 million visits anticipated each year
- 2,000 capacity event venue within power station
- 40 café’s & restaurants
- Over 250 shops and food & beverage outlets site wide
- 4,364 new homes
- 18 acres of public space
- 6 acre river front park
- 1,250,000 sq.ft office space
- 40,000 sq.ft street food market within the power station
Residential & Retirement
Urban Master Planning & Land Development
Hotels & Resorts
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Arup, Benoy, Frank Gehry, Foster and Partners, Adamson Associates, Vinoly, Wilkinson Eyre
Robert Bird Group Services:
- New London Architecture, Conservation and Retrofit, Apr 2014
- ICE Civil Engineering Awards, Londonist People’s Choice Award, Feb 2017
- Constructing Excellence Awards, Preservation and Rejuvenation Award, Mar 2017