A place with meaning: Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station means a great deal to LDA Design, and most especially to director, Benjamin Walker. More than a decade in the making, the project has been a constant. During this time, Ben has had children, moved house a few times and become studio lead for London. The iconic Power Station has been with him throughout. 

If 10,000 hours can make you an expert in something, what does 10 years make you? This summer marks the opening of large parts of Battersea Power Station. It is the culmination of a decade of my professional life with LDA Design. I’m fortunate to have led our work designing all of the public realm here, and whilst there have been times of stress there has always been humour and great teamwork with our co-consultants and client team.

During the commission I’ve had children, moved house a few times and become lead for our London studio. Battersea has been the one constant throughout.

I think back to those early days in the embers of the financial crash, a coalition government and the growing clamour of voices talking about the ‘climate crisis’. Many things we take for granted today simply didn’t exist – companies like Uber and Deliveroo, for example. They, along with businesses like Amazon, have changed how we interact with the city and each other. And then came the pandemic, which has had a lasting impact on how we use space.

What we have been able to design and deliver at Battersea feels miraculous. It includes a new 450-metre-long river frontage, open for the first time; a riverfront park; a series of ecologically rich and biodiverse habitats and the start of a new high street.

There is a new children’s play area (which is definitely not inspired by wine glasses), and giant roof terraces on the Power Station itself, designed with Andy Sturgeon. There is a new Tube station with one of London’s best-designed plazas, and there are elevated roof gardens designed with Richard Kennedy at James Corner Field Operations.

Here is a picture from day one and others taken recently. 

Take a seat: welcoming new plaza outside the new Battersea Power Station Tube station.
Prospect Park: Colourful new play space not in anyway inspired by the shape of a wine glass.

In the coming weeks and months, there will be plenty of pictures posted as the estate completes, with glimpses of design details and spaces being used and enjoyed. But for now, I wanted to thank all my collaborators, co-consultants and of course the client team, and designers in LDA, including James Turner, Syreen Monshi, Brain Malig Collado, Tom McCreesh, Naomi Rosser, Robert Aspland, Cannon Ivers, Olivia Anderson, Lasse Ryberg Hansen, Kath Kok, David Sullivan, Ross Schaffer, Matt Golding, Juliana Rojas, Adrienn Nagy, Emily Richards and many others.

If you haven’t been down yet, do have a look.

Benjamin Walker heads up LDA Design’s work on transforming the public realm for Battersea Power Station. He is studio lead for London. 

Prospect Park photo by Charlie Round-Turner / Battersea Power Station. All other photos copyright LDA Design. 

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