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Report - Battersea Power Station Control Rooms A & B, London - September 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Indecisive Moment, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Indecisive Moment

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    I initially planned a few days away in London primarily to see a few exhibitions and maybe fit in an explore or two in between if I had the time. It turned out I spent most of my time on rooftops and I was loving every minute of it!

    After speaking to GAJ we decided to try the beautiful Battersea. I couldn't resist not visiting this classic London landmark, even if it involved 'a little bit of climbing' according to GAJ!. For someone petrified of heights, I thought I'd give it a go, after all I love a challenge! little did I know how much climbing I would have to do!

    We met up with OFE and headed towards BPS. Getting into Control Room A was the most difficult part - for me anyway, being a novice and all that and a complete wimp when it comes to climbing! Once inside it's an amazing site to behold - any hardship suffered getting in becomes pretty insignificant. Control Room B wasn't as difficult to get into but I still froze in places where I thought I would never quite manage to get to the other side.

    Getting back out was also fun and games as I suddenly had a mental block and just couldn't get myself down from a particular spot which was of a certain height, for the fear of falling and risking injury and possibly death! Thanks to GAJ and OFE who helped me tremendously to conquer some of my fears. I had an absolute ball exploring this magnificent place and the only regret is not getting to the roof as I was pretty exhausted after spending almost 5 hours inside.


    I took this photograph earlier on the day from a rooftop.

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    HISTORY THANKS TO PREVIOUS VISITORS

    Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station was built in two stages. Battersea A was finished in1933, with Battersea B coming on line in 1953. The two stations were built to an identical/mirrored design, providing the well known four-chimney layout.

    At it’s peak in 1953 it produced around 509MW making it the third largest in the UK at the time. This was a fifth of London’s electricity, with 28 other London stations producing the rest. By the 1970s the station's output was falling. This, coupled with increased operating costs, such as flue gas cleaning, led to Battersea's demise. On 17 March 1975, the A Station was closed after being in operation for 42 years. By this time the A Station was co-firing oil and its generating capacity had reduced to 228 MW.

    Three years after the closure of the A Station, rumours began to circulate that the B Station would soon follow. A campaign was then launched to try to save the building as part of the national heritage. As a result the station was declared a heritage site in 1980, when the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, awarded the building Grade II listed status. (This was upgraded to Grade II* listed in 2007.)

    On 31 October 1983 production of electricity at Station B also ended, after nearly 30 years of operation. By then the B Station's generating capacity had fallen to 146 MW. The closure of the two stations was put down largely to the generating equipment becoming out-dated, and the
    preferred choice of fuel for electricity generation shifting from coal toward oil, gas and nuclear power.

    Since the station's closure the site has remained largely unused, with numerous failed redevelopment plans from successive site owners. In July 2012, the power station was sold to a consortium led by Malaysia’s SP Setia for £400 million. In January 2013 the first residential apartments went on sale. An initial £100 million will go towards rebuilding the four chimneys and repairs to the brick-work and windows. Buro Happold, which has extensive knowledge of the site, is to advise on structural repairs for the property development, which will be managed by Turner & Townsend. The Battersea Power Station Development Company will now finalise plans for the interior of the building, for which it has recruited Wilkinson Eyre.



    CONTROL ROOM A

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    CONTROL ROOM B


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    Apologies for the number of pics but I had the difficult task of choosing from over 300 images!
    Hope you enjoyed looking through them as much as I enjoyed my adventure in Battersea :)
     
    #1 Indecisive Moment, Sep 7, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013

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