From power plant to luxury community

A master plan for London’s Battersea Power Station reads like a utopian post-industrialist fantasy and a developer’s dream: a power plant reborn as dense community center by 2020.

It’s a non-local story of adaptive reuse that should result in an interesting addition to London’s skyline.

Beyond Pink Floyd

The power plant itself (you may know it from Pink Floyd’s Animals album cover) will serve as more than art deco centerpiece, with a new biofuel-powered co-generation plant in its basement sending water vapor through the 1933 plant’s chimneys. Other buildings of the plant will be converted to offices.

A transparent solar canopy will cover some of its buildings and plazas and, combined with an “eco-chimney,” will reduce the need for air conditioning.

The master plan, conceived by Rafael Vinoly Architects and Real Estate Opportunities Ltd., also features luxury apartments, a waterpark and connections to the tube. (Rendering shown above is by Rafael Vinoly Architects)

The relics of industry can tell a very important story about a city’s past glory and gloom.

Seattle’s Gasworks Park was landmarked, letting us marvel at its grotesque beauty without condos or a waterpark ever competing for our interest (though free concerts there by local legends like Pearljam have offered some distraction).

It’s interesting to look at the different tools cities employ to keep these industrial beasts alive.

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