It's a big project. Scrap that - it's a massive project. Indeed, it has been described as one of the “most ambitious urban regeneration projects on the planet”. All at an estimated cost of around £9BILLION! Not only is the regeneration of Battersea Power Station (BPS) totally reinvigorating the area in terms of residential living, business, job creation and commerce it also has an added benefit for those who like to let their hair down a little at trendy spots with super-cool vibes. An added plus, right?
The transformation is well under way and has been helped enormously by Apple’s decision to set up a HQ there. The project will see the creation of thousands of apartments, while the main building will house a cinema, a food court and 100 shops across two distinct retail centres by 2021. Apple plans to take up space on all six floors of the site and move 1,400 staff into it -- currently they're spread across eight offices in the city.
Simon Murphy, who heads up the mammoth operation underway not too far from our Battersea office, explains: “Essentially, we are creating an entirely new town centre for London on the banks of the River Thames, across from Chelsea with the former power station, one of the greatest and most iconic buildings in the city, sitting at the heart of it. We are complementing this with new icons — wonderful buildings designed by Gehry & Partners and Foster & Partners along our new High Street. It’s a very mixed-use scheme of which about half is residential and half commercial.”
And so, you won't be surprised to learn that Battersea Power Station has become south west London's coolest hangout. In its midst is No.29 Power Station West, a modern neighbourhood bar opened by independent group Darwin & Wallace, known for elegant modern pubs such as 11 Pimlico Road and 197 Chiswick Fire Station.
Designed by architect Lou Davies of West London studio Box 9, the all-day bar and restaurant’s interior pays homage to the area’s industrial heritage and the power station’s development in the 1920s and 1930s, with "Art Deco touches and artwork coexisting gracefully with raw concrete, tiles and parquet flooring. The designers visited Miami to look at Art Deco graphic design and architecture, juxtaposing it to the power station’s interior".
Managing director Mel Marriott explains: "The iconic location very much led the design. We are redefining a formulaic Gastro Pub model with a modern, all day, creatively designed interpretation of what a pub should be. Our mantra is to look beyond the obvious, work harder than the rest, surround yourself with things you love.”
And there is even more reason to like the venue as of next month. Launching on May 9 for a month-long residency, The Clean Air Bar has been designed to help Londoners escape from the city smog. It will be decked out with plants that NASA has found to be most effective at removing toxins from the air, supplied by urban gardeners.
The bar has been designed to be a relaxed and healthy environment, to allow visitors to sip drinks in a pure atmosphere, and learn how houseplants can improve your standard of living when you live in a polluted city. Pollution in our capital is said to be so bad that last year a study revealed that it’s not worth working out outside, as the toxins in the air negate the usual benefits of exercise!
Nonetheless, it is well worth taking a brisk stroll to BPS…and a certain No.29!