Sunday, 18 December 2016

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station is an iconic building, which has been undergoing lengthy regeneration after sitting derelict for decades. A few years ago, while in London to present for OSIRIS, I stayed in a hotel near the Elephant and Castle, with a view towards the construction work, and I always try to see what is happening when I pass on the train. It's been undergoing regeneration for a long time, but sat derelict for even longer, as plans came and went, and it started to deteriorate. There were plans at one stage for it to be bought by Chelsea football team who planned to turn it into their stadium.

Apple is apparently planning to become the major tenant at the completed building, and occupying a large part of the newly developed area when it is finished. There are many fascinating stories about the earlier plans and Peter Watts has written a whole book about the plans.

I've been following the developments for some years now. Last year, I worked on a small project with Experian, who produce the Goad Plans, and was fortunate to have some details on the area sent to me, as a possible way to compare with the changing demographic as the development takes shape and eventually comes to a conclusion. I must revisit those documents actually...

I think the area would make a useful context for gentrification and urban redevelopment, and also make a wonderful field trip location for urban geography. It is relatively accessible, and its size and positioning mean that there are lots of opportunities for interesting fieldwork locally.
Another idea I have would be to do a linear transect through London, with Battersea being along the route, or to explore the idea of Changing Places.

Finally, there's a link back to my school in that Aubrey Powell, who was part of the Hipgnosis design team with Storm Thorgerson and designed most of the early Pink Floyd covers, including the iconic poster for their Animals album… is an Old Elean. Some of his album covers were recently on display at school as part of an exhibition of art by other Old Eleans...

More on this to come in 2017...

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