I’ve been slow to write about all my Open Doors week construction-site visits back in June, but as well as seeing a soon-to-be-skyscraper, I also made it to two other sites, the largest of which far-and-away was Battersea Power Station – more specifically, the “Phase 1” work beside it, which is the construction of two huge 20-story-high blocks that will surround the venerable power station – itself also a building site right now as part of the “Phase 2” work.
The blocks were all sold off-plan long ago, and construction is taking place at a frenetic pace, as the developer aims to deliver the accommodation as soon as they can. The sheer amount of activity is breathtaking, with over 2000 workers on site.
The tour included a visit to the basement infrastructure of the new blocks, as well as looking inside a couple of the flats (which include pre-fabricated bathrooms that have been just dropped in), and – the definite highlight – a journey up a hoist to the roof, from which you looked down to the roof of the old power station, or across the Thames to central London, and to the garden of the £4m+ penthouse that will be there soon.
There were a few additional surprises, such as a spiral staircase being constructed, and a close-up view of the power station in transformation (the route to the Phase 1 work is along a narrow pathway between the station and the river).
It was great to see too the chimneys of Battersea Power Station being restored – having disappeared from the skyline at the beginning of the project (sulphur damage had made them structurally unstable), the first of the four replacements, constructed with the same techniques and materials, has now reappeared.