Due to be fully opened by 2028, The Battersea Power Station development is designed to create a whole new neighbourhood. It will cover approximately 2 million feet of space designed to integrate residential, retail, offices and leisure usage.
Originally built in the 1930’s with just two washtowers (and known as Battersea A), construction was funded by the London Power Company. The building is formed of brickwork around a steel girder frame and is the largest brick building in Europe. In effect, Battersea is two power stations, and the familiar silhouette of four chimneys did not appear until 1953.
The Power Station was decommissioned between 1975 and 1983 and then up until 2014 was left abandoned, empty and unused. It gained Grade II listing in 1980, was then declared a heritage site and was then upgraded to II* in 2007.
PAYE’s contracted works centre around the external package, which throws up a number of challenging aspects to the restoration of this iconic building. The complexities of our works revolve around repair of the rusting steel structure and the damage this has in turn inflicted on the brickwork. A key part to this is the matching of mortar and brick blends (of which there are three) – reflecting the differing periods the station was built. Despite currently being the largest building site in London, the other major challenge is the limited amount of space on site – making for a logistical jigsaw puzzle. Matching the existing mortar (which has been subject to 90 years of British weathering in places) with regard to colour, texture & aggregate comes with its own obstacles that need to be resolved. Consistency of finish is key with all aspects being scrutinised by Historic England, the client and of course ourselves.