The Question Of The Missing Chimneys

By Rob Last edited 152 months ago
The Question Of The Missing Chimneys

It's been a long time since we heard anything new about the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, so it was quite a surprise to day to read they they're thinking of knocking the chimneys down.

Now before you start panicking, it's not as bad as it seems, the plan is to kock the chimneys down...and then replace them with replicas. Why? Well, because the current stacks are irreparable:

Hong Kong-based firm Parkview International ...wants to redevelop the power station into a vast leisure, retail and business park. The company claims extensive research has shown the chimneys are beyond repair and it wants the replicas to be the leisure park's recognisable brand.

Of course, the immediate suspicion is that Parkview will either a) knock down the existing chimeys and then decide that their " vast leisure, retail and business park" looks better without them; or b) replace the stacks with crappy, MDF replicas carrying huge great adverts for NUTS magazine.

Parkview's director of communications (so their PR guy) is quoted as saying, "We have carried out exhaustive investigations. The overwhelming evidence is that repair is simply not possible. To suggest we will knock them down and walk away is not credible. We have spent £100m drawing up these plans.

Which would seem to suggest that repairing them might actually be possible but would cost more than £100m.

The other argument is, of course, that the chimneys are a key historical landmark and should be left well alone. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Last Updated 26 September 2005


Why do they need repairing? It's not as if they're going to actually use them as chimneys, is it?

(Of course, as any fule kno, only two of them are really chimneys anyway)


One would suspect they need repairing so that large chunks don't accidently start falling off and killing people. I see no problem with building replicas, why get so sentimental about the actual (crumbly) bricks when its the iconic *design* of the thing that gets people all weepy.


It's all about playing for time. Parkview are only interested in Battersea as a property development. Once the Chelsea market has reached boiling point, building work on the only building site in the world without any builders may actually start.


Leave the chimneys alone. Don't believe these developers, they talk 'developer speak' just so they sound plausible.

Colin Gregory Palmer

I will swear everlasting vengence on Parkview International if they knock down those stacks. It's my favorate building in London and we don't need something unique to be replaced with a fancy mall. : (