I’m at Battersea Power Station to lay my hands on the textured interiors options that off-plan buyers of the apartments within the iconic building itself (still a shell) are choosing; however, I end up paddling in mud.
I’m suddenly whisked into the very heart of the iconic building’s construction site and it’s a cacophony of noise. In this very masculine world of high-vis, 1,900 workers are drilling, digging, driving, building and sanding. It is alien, muddy, cold and absolutely thrilling.
In less than three years’ time this modern-day icon will be a world-class destination for work, rest and play, and the maintenance team will be sweeping, polishing and buffing the finished article. The phoenix is rising.
The heritage and textures of the original 20th-century industrial building (built pre and post-war) have informed the company’s 21st-century vision
Today, though, I’m staring into an abyss – the excavation of the enormous generating plant for the entire 42-acre £9bn site. In a twist of fate Battersea Power Station will once again be generating power, for itself this time rather than the one-fifth of London that it was built for. As regenerations go, it’s one hell of a ship to be steering, and there’s still a decade to go.
At the helm is long-time CEO Rob Tincknell, overseeing the great and the small; today he’s proudly weighing up a set of bespoke bath taps. These are for the Power Station’s 253 turn-key apartments, for which buyers choose one of two palettes for the walls, floors, kitchens and bathrooms. Amber Lush from the interior design firm Michaelis Boyd explains how the heritage and textures of the original 20th-century industrial building (built pre and post-war) have informed the company’s 21st-century vision.
Named Heritage 33 and 47, both palettes use neutrals and natural materials, clean lines, open shelving and bespoke brassware to give a crisp, warm, post-industrial, contemporary look. Where the exposed brick of the fabric of the building is possible to incorporate (and there are more than 7m bricks), it has been restored. Historic England has given permission for additional windows and the construction of glazed penthouses. A “handful” of apartments remain for off-plan sale, starting at £2.75m.
For potential buyers, it’s an interesting time. The new riverboat pier is operational and the Northern Line excavators are done and dusted.
The parade of village shops, cafes, restaurants and community spaces is growing monthly, and residents of the first phase – Circus West – have already moved in. In a nutshell if you want to buy, with a decent budget there are myriad options for cash, mortgage and off-plan purchases.
Tincknell whips out his phone and taps the Power Club app. He scrolls to the social pages – 29 clubs have been set up by people moving in within the first six months – cycling is popular, as is the book club; there are 446 members of the entrepreneurs club and an astonishing 838 members of the chess club. All they need is a timelapse photography club to document one of the most exciting subjects in the world right outside the window.