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Battersea Power Station

Any day when I pack for going out and think "Why would I need a camera today?" is a day in which I will need a camera. But after all - why would I need one for skating around Battersea Park? humanfemale found a group of rollerbladers who do leisurely circuits of the park on Saturday mornings. The Easy Peasy Skate, as its called, had around fifteen people showing up for it on a morning of perfect weather. Many of them are advanced far beyond leisurely circuits - some to half-marathons, many to street skating - but they all still enjoy a stroll in the park on wheels on a lovely day. And so it was we met at the Peace Pagoda, skated for nearly four kilometers, stopping regularly to regroup, and then retired to the park's café for refreshment. They were also how we learned that Battersea Power Station was open that day for visits (and had been for Saturdays all month), an event not likely to happen again for quite awhile. Neither of us had ever been.

It was an unexpectedly long walk to get to something so close, thanks to a large intervening construction project, but we made it to the display center easily enough after only one point of route despair. The display center advertised the currently proposed plans for redeveloping the power station into a housing/entertainment complex with new Northern line Underground station and environmentally-friendly heating and cooling methods. I admit, the prospect of a new Underground station excited me the most. After promising not to sue them if dust blew on our possessions, and after picking up our free bottle of water for hydration en route, we set out along the indirect edge of a car park, through a fenced-off path, for the towering monument to power.

Even largely derelict, it's a structure of dignity and a certain elegance, fluted-columns stretching up to the clear blue sky, decorative brickwork, and its industrial Art Deco overall design. Stripped of its interior, its vast spaces are all that is left - most of which will be filled in by the proposed renovations to make the grade 2* listed building useful again.

I might not have brought my camera, but I had my mobile phone with me; this was finally incentive enough for me to test it out and figure out how to upload photos off of the camera. I love how the low-resolution and poor quality of lens on the phone make the photos look old, washed-out, and grainy, as if taken thirty years ago instead of this weekend. Here are the best of them.

The iconic towers

One of the two side halls

The main space, through a fence

Main space, with glare

The main space, with crowd



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
cute pictures! i like the purple sky.. Very true to life
Sep. 1st, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! How did yours turn out?
Sep. 1st, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
um.. small! they're on my flickr.. im just running the code to get them from flickr to my website..
Sep. 1st, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Mine were small too. For the first time ever, I didn't shrink down photos before posting them: I posted them full size!
Sep. 1st, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Do you know chiller? Cos she was taking pics of Battersea in the last few days too, and it seems a bit of a coincidence...! :)
Sep. 1st, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
I know who she is now! humanfemale stopped to talk to some friends of hers (i.e. friends of humanfemale's). I recognized one person in the group only since she'd just been skating with us. After we walked away, I asked who they were, and of all their usernames, chiller's was the only one which rang bells, presumably because of commenting often enough in mutual friends' journals. (She was not the one who'd gone skating.)

Now that you've commented, I've gone to check, and all is clear, for she and I have lots of people in common, from all over the place.
Sep. 1st, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
That was a long-winded way of saying "I'm told I ran into her and was in her company for five minutes and I know now which one she was, but we didn't technically meet."
Sep. 1st, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
The display center advertised the currently proposed plans for redeveloping the power station into a housing/entertainment complex with new Northern line Underground station and environmentally-friendly heating and cooling methods.

I've seen so many proposals for its restoration-cum-redevelopment come and go over the past twenty-odd years that I no longer believe that anything will come of them. What's left of the power station's structure must now be so unsafe that it will all have to be demolished if anything is ever to be built there -- so, grade II listed though it is, I think developers should just get on with the demolition, and have done with it.
Sep. 1st, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
On a much smaller time scale, I thought nothing would ever come of all the O2 plans, and something eventually did, so who knows? As plans go, compared to the others I've read about, this one doesn't seem so bad.

I can't speak to the building stability, but if this project does go ahead, it'll be interesting to see if the shell holds up to it.
Sep. 1st, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
When I was in London in 2006 I was struck by the sight of the Power Station as I rode on the train. It is very imposing on the surrounding landscape (or perhaps the lack of surrounding landscape). I tried to take a picture of it, but met with limited success given the physical constraints of trying to take a picture from a moving train and the quality of the disposable camera I was using.

I hope they manage to do something with the structure, it looks really cool.
Sep. 2nd, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
Man, I gotta see that place the next time I visit.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )