Two weeks ago, the latest of many plans to re-develop Battersea Power Station was thrown into disarray by the financial irregularity of the developers behind it. In the wake of this news comes another project that perhaps better reflects contemporary economic realities.
The proposal, by Terry Farrell & Partners, takes a different approach toward what to do with the crumbling structure: demolish it further. Specifically, the plan calls for the sides walls to be knocked down and replaced with collonades, with the back and front walls renovated, and the land in and around it be turned into a park. Unlike the current plan, the existing chimneys would be patched up and retained under this scheme. Residential, retail and office units could then be built around the station.
Farrell, whose firm is not linked to the current project, described the proposal as "a pragmatic and incremental approach to enable the redevelopment of this famous landmark". He's got a point. The building's viability is at stake, and decades of knocking around expensive, improbable regeneration schemes have left Battersea to rot away. The apparent demise of the most recent masterplan lends weight to the argument that what's needed is a much simpler project that actually has a good chance of being realised.