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Battersea Power Station reopens as leisure district following £9bn redevelopment

The iconic Battersea Power Station has opened on the south bank of the River Thames, London, UK
Dating to the 1930s, the historic site has undergone a £9bn redevelopment project
Designs for the restoration and repurposing were led by architects studio WilkinsonEyre
A glass elevator transports visitors 109m up inside one of the Power Station’s iconic chimneys
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The iconic Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames, London, UK, has finally reopened, following a £9bn redevelopment project.

The Grade II* listed former coal-fired power station has been transformed into an entirely new district featuring a blend of residential and leisure, with health clubs, a visitor attraction, spa and wellness offerings, retail, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, parks and historic spaces.

Developments within the 42-acre site include a cinema, a theatre and London's first art'otel, designed by Spanish artist and interior designer, Jaime Hayon.

Designs for the restoration and repurposing were led by architects studio WilkinsonEyre.

Among the site's visitor attractions is the Chimney Lift Experience, a glass elevator that will transport visitors 109m up inside one of the Power Station’s iconic chimneys before they emerge at the top to enjoy 360-degree views of the capital’s skyline.

The chimneys were rebuilt as part of the restoration work.

There is also a wide range of green and open public spaces, including the six-acre Power Station Park, which sits directly in front of the building on the banks of the river.

Sebastien Ricard, director at WilkinsonEyre, said: "It has been a privilege to restore and transform this iconic building, not only saving and celebrating the original features but creating interventions which bring the structure alive again.

"Retaining the Power Station’s sense of scale and visual drama is key to the project and is achieved through features such as full-height voids behind the southern and northern entrances, a vast central atrium and the unobstructed turbine halls which have become retail gallerias.

"The architectural interventions respect the integrity of the historic landmark while creating new events spaces, shops, restaurants and cafés, large open-plan office spaces, and a series of Sky Villas positioned around rooftop garden squares above the Boiler House and Turbine Halls.

"I’m excited that these incredible volumes – the Turbine Halls and Boiler House – will, for the first time, be open to all.

"We’ve taken great inspiration from Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in everything from the drama and scale right through to individual material choices and I hope this is reflected in the experience of residents and visitors.”

Among the major corporate tenants is US tech giant Apple, which has taken 500,000sq ft of office space to create a UK campus.

A number of health and fitness operators have secured spaces at Battersea, including boutique chains Be Military Fit with Bear Grylls, Boom Cycle and BXR.

Built in the 1930s and first opened in 1941, the Battersea Power Station is now owned by a consortium of Malaysian investors and developers.

The original power station was designed by architect Giles Gilbert Scott and is one of the world's largest brick buildings.

The building has had a rollercoaster ride since being decommissioned in 1983, changing hands many times and being the subject of a plethora of abandoned plans, including one by Sir John Hall, founder of Alton Towers, to turn it into a theme park.

Other previous, failed plans, have included an urban park, biomass power station a mixed-use and housing development, an eco dome and even a football stadium.

Following countless false starts, the historic building has now finally been brought back to use for the first time since the power was cut off.

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The iconic Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames, London, UK, has finally reopened, following a £9bn redevelopment project.

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