CABE backs new life for Battersea Power Station
23 February 2010
Jane Barraclough, 020 7070 6771, email@example.com
CABE has praised Rafael Viñoly’s designs for the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, supporting both the outline planning and listed building applications. The design review panel was impressed by the intelligent and well-resolved design.
The panel supported the masterplan and the way in which the Grade II* listed building has been made the clear focus of the site within the strong setting provided by a simple new riverside park and the oval form of landscape and buildings to the south. The panel felt the long sinuous residential terraces could be architecturally elegant, and supported the idea that they should encircle the power station.
The panel recognised the complexity of converting the listed industrial shell of the existing power station and was impressed by what had been achieved within the constraints of the building. There was support for the form and materials of the glass rooftop extensions.
Diane Haigh, director of design review at CABE, said: ‘In many ways this has been a model process. The scheme was brought to us at a very early stage, and both the developer and the architect have been very open to the panel’s comments. We have reviewed it six times - which is unusual - but this iterative process has resulted in improvements at each stage and a very strong scheme which CABE is confident will be a success.’
The panel praised the environmental strategy for the site, calling it both ambitious and pragmatic, and commended the client, Treasury Holdings, for taking sustainability seriously.
Inevitably, for a development of this scale and complexity, there are areas that require further thought but the panel was confident that these could be resolved through planning conditions and development of the design for reserved matters applications.
Issues to be addressed include potential problems of overshadowing, given the density of the development, and ensuring that there is acceptable sunlight and daylight penetration into the apartments at lower levels. Further refinement is also needed to ensure an acceptable microclimate and adequate daylight throughout the public realm. One important point of arrival, Hotel Lane to the east of the power station, could be deep and overshadowed even though it is 25m wide, and more work is required to make sure it is an attractive street. It is also important that the massing of the surrounding blocks allows the power station to dominate in all views.
Notes to editors
- Read CABE’s full comments on Battersea Power Station.
- CABE’s design review panel has reviewed the scheme five times at pre-planning. The planning application was the sixth review. The chair of the panel is Simon Allford, of AHMM.
- Please get in touch with Jane Barraclough, senior press officer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7070 6771 for more information or to request an interview.
- CABE is the government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. As a public body, we encourage policymakers to create places that work for people. We help local planners apply national design policy and offer expert advice to developers and architects. We show public sector clients how to commission buildings that meet the needs of their users. And we seek to inspire the public to demand more from their buildings and spaces. Advising, influencing and inspiring, we work to create well-designed, welcoming places.
- CABE’s design review is a free advice service, offering expert independent assessments of schemes that will have a significant impact on their environment.