battersea power station by rafael vinoly
all images courtesy rafael vinoly architects
last week it was announced that rafael vinoly
's battersea development (which he won
back in 2008) has been given approval by the commission for architecture and the built
environment. a date has yet to be released for when construction will begin.
the masterplan for the battersea power station – a grade-II listed, large former electric
power plant along the river thames – aims to create a mixed-use sustainable development
offering commercial and retail functions as well as residential, cultural, and event spaces
interspersed with community facilities and a zero-carbon energy plant for the adaptive
reuse of the power station itself. the iconic historic structure of the power station
functions as the focal point of the site’s regeneration, which aims to create a self-sufficient
and vibrant new community serving as the anchor of the vauxhall/ nine elms/ battersea
the primary design goal is to reinforce the presence of the power station as the main
architectural feature of the site by setting it in a formal space ('the circle') defined by
a reflecting pool and open to views to and from the thames river and its north bank.
further, accessibility to the site is increased by creating three primary streets that link
the power station to the site’s southern perimeter and through to a future extension of
the waterfront park and river walk.
the architectural vocabulary of the complex is defined by a series of varied typologies that
reflect the different character areas of the public realm. in the tradition of the london terrace
housing typology, the approach sequence to the power station is defined by curving building
façades that are further activated by a varied alignment of the floors to create deep, open
terraces for the residential units. this re-interpretation of the terrace building type provides
a dynamic condition to the façade plane and guides circulation as residents and visitors
progress toward the waterfront.
given the phased nature of a development of this scale, the master plan provides a set of
design guidelines that establish different degrees of prescription of the design according to
the sensitivities of different areas of the site, with the most detailed guidelines pertaining to
the architecture and setting of the heritage building.
'the battersea power station master plan is based on rigorous principles of environmental,
economic, and social sustainability,' says rafael viñoly. 'the proposed scheme creates
a balanced mix of uses to ensure a fully integrated urban environment, provides a new
transportation solution, and establishes an energy strategy that radically reduces consumption,
as well as generating a clean supply through the use of renewable sources. the visual presence
of the chimney, a near-transparent marker on the skyline, defines a new opportunity area
signaling london's commitment to innovation and sustainability.'
ridhika naidoo I designboom
mar 01, 2010