What happens when a beautiful, iconic building in a city center has outlived its original use? It gets made into trendy and expensive condominiums, of course! Such is the fate of Battersea Power Station in London. For years after its decommissioning as power station in 1983, its fate was uncertain, including possible demolition. Fortunately, a group of investors came to its rescue in 2012, redeveloping the building and its 43 acres in South London to be mixed residential, office, and retail use. In addition, the London Underground was extended to create two new stops on the Northern Line to serve the area, which opened on September 20 this year. One of the complex’s ultra-luxurious flats is for sale, on the 11th and 12th floors of the power station, that offers three reception room, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and tons of private outdoor space. It’s available though Copperstones Properties for an eyewatering $21.5 million.
But first, a little history. Battersea Power Station, in the London Borough of Wandsworth, was the first of the new “superstations” planned to provide the electricity for 1930s Britain. In 1940, the London Power Company hired architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to make the building beautiful. Scott was known for the design of the library at the University of Cambridge; the Bodleian Library at Oxford; London’s Waterloo Bridge, and most famously, for the creation of Britain’s iconic red public telephone boxes.
The Power Station, one of the world’s largest brick buildings, includes lavish art deco embellishments, such as bronze doors and an amazing Art Deco control room. The polished marble and shiny machinery looked more like a Greek temple than a simple machine shop. Yet it was the most efficient power station in Britain when it began operations, and in the 1950s, it produced 20 per cent of London’s electricity supply.
The Power Station became iconic in 1977 when it graced the cover of Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album, along with the famous pig balloon.
Copyright Pink Floyd – Image by Hipgnosis
Later, the station became a site for the filming of the critically acclaimed movie “The Children of Men.” Other films featuring the site include “The Dark Knight,” “Richard III,” and “Full Metal Jacket.”
“The Children of Men,” 2006, Universal Pictures
The building was listed as architecturally important, but after decommissioning, all plans for redevelopment failed. In 2012, administrators Ernst & Young agreed with Malaysia’s SP Setia and Sime Darby companies to develop the site that was designed with 253 residential units along with numerous bars and restaurants, office space, shops and entertainment spaces. Apple is currently the main leaseholder, with commitments to occupy 500,000 square feet of the office space as their UK headquarters.
Interested in the penthouse that occupies the 11th and 12th floors with captivating river and city views? The duplex’s 4,744 square feet of interior space is complimented by a 1,446 square foot terrace that faces the Thames, plus a roof terrace with another 1,253 square feet. A special bonus is the two dedicated parking spots, an essential and coveted feature in central London where street parking expensive and hard to come by. Of course, the complex will feature the kind of rich-person conveniences expected these days in luxury developments: 24/7 concierge services, a residents’ lounge and bar, a business center, a private theater, a gym, a swimming pool and much more.
Sadly, no pig balloons will be provided to float mysteriously outside the penthouse windows.