Man About Town: A new start for Battersea Power Station

It seems that something is finally going to happen to the station rather than just existing as a venue for exclusive events

Share
Related Topics

The sun was setting on the river as I arrived at Battersea Power Station. Most guests arrived in cars, but I chose to walk along the Thames, and across the barren landscape to the main building.

It was like walking onto the film set of a blockbuster centred around this brick cathedral.

It wasn’t, however, a film set, but Gabrielle’s Gala, a now annual event hosted by songwriter and socialite Denise Rich. The cause - leukaemia and lymphoma research in the UK - was a great one, the speakers were moving, the calibre of star supporters – Tom Hardy, Jeremy Piven and Duffy – high, and the entertainment – Jessie J performed a set – was very entertaining.

But the unsung star of the night, was the building itself. Although it finally stopped working the year I was born, it is one of the most recognisable and, to employ a much-overused word, iconic buildings in the country. When I moved from south London, where I had grown up, to the north side of town, my family gave me a painting of the place to remind me of home.

I have been inside a handful of times since in the past couple of years, but only because work has taken me to  expensively funded parties.

After years of being held onto by various developers as a safer investment than a bank, it seems that something is finally going to happen to the station rather than just existing as a venue for exclusive events: with a “new development” offering the “real estate opportunity of a lifetime”.

Despite the obvious housing crisis, I’m not sure that the country needs more luxury flats that offer river views. Nor do we really need more of the generic chains that make every high street in Britain another soulless replica of its nearest neighbour.

It’s hard to tell from lush, colourful computer-generated images what it will actually be like. And it might be wishful thinking, it would be nice if there was a combination of public space and unspoilt views of the building.

As we left, after midnight, the darkness battled the massive spotlights illuminating the walls, making the building look even more striking. The site is opening to the public later this month for the first time for the Chelsea Fringe Festival. Whatever is on there, it would be worth going to see the building up close.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Female Support Workers / Carers - From £8.00 per hour

£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Police officers attempt to stop illegal migrants from jumping onto trucks headed for Britain in the northeastern French port of Calais on October 29, 2014  

Tighter security in Calais won’t solve the problem

Nigel Morris
 

Football needs its Martin Luther moment, and soon

Boyd Tonkin
US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines