Battersea Power Station is the subject of much media attention as it officially opens its doors today for the first time in 40 years, following a highly ambitious decade-long plan by a Malaysian consortium and local developers. Battersea has been a prominent feature of London’s skyline since it was built in the 1920s and was immortalised in pop culture in 1977 on the album cover for Pink Floyd’s Animals, alongside flying pigs. The station was then closed just a few years later and registered as a grade II* listed building.
While many plans had been proposed for Battersea in the interim years, it wasn’t until 2012, 40 years after its closure, that the site found new life, with a highly ambitious proposal to create the mixed-use site we see opening today, with its retail stores, restaurants, offices, apartment blocks and a cinema. Overall, this has been a tremendous achievement with thousands of professionals making this possible.
It is Battersea Power Station’s turbine halls which form the heart of its retail destination, and we are incredibly proud to have been part of this much bigger story. Our role started around a year ago, when we were appointed by eight global retail brands to provide local architectural and MEP services in this exciting new development. We worked in eight project teams to implement this, including more than 25 permanent Hyphen staff and over 20 trusted partners – covering a combined 2,632 square metres of retail space. This included work for longstanding clients, including Mulberry, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lacoste, and The Kooples.
Wayne Taylor, Director at Hyphen, says “The scale of the whole complex is impressive – around 42 acres – and although our part may seem small in comparison, we couldn’t be prouder of our retail teams for what they have achieved over the past year.
“Significant Grade II* listed buildings, like Battersea Power Station, present unique challenges, no matter how much expertise and experience you have. It is important to work closely with local authorities and the building’s owners throughout the process, as even minor changes to the inside of the power station’s fabric can affect the historical interest and character of the building.
“We needed to retain this character and historic significance in each of our Battersea projects, while also maintaining the unique brand values and providing functional, well-designed, safe, and modern spaces for our retail clients. Our teams have been working very hard to produce the Hyphen quality, ensuring each project is completed to the highest possible standards. Work will continue after today, but we feel fortunate to have contributed to the latest chapter of the iconic building’s long history.”
Eddie Miles, CEO at Hyphen says, “Like many people who have lived, worked, or travelled through west London, I’ve come to know and love Giles Gilbert Scott’s Power Station at Battersea. The four Doric chimneys atop a huge block of brickwork always reminded me of an upturned antique billiard table left dumped and stranded amongst the scrap yards and waste grounds of SW11. Over a period of forty years there have been moments of hope for the building’s rebirth, from theme parks to football stadia and in the meantime London’s endless energy for growth has brought the USA’s Embassy to neighbouring Nine Elms and the capital’s newest Underground Station to the power station’s very door.
It is very exciting to see what has been achieved at Battersea today and I am immensely proud of our teams at Hyphen who have worked hard on several key retail spaces. The result is a testament to the quality of their work and the strong relationships we have built with clients and partners over the years. It feels fitting that we can celebrate Battersea Power Station opening its doors towards the end of our London office’s 25th year in the capital.”
A special thank you to our Hyphen teams, trusted partners and clients. Well done!