When the Battersea Power Station site was purchased by Malaysian shareholders SP Setia, Sime Darby and EPF in 2012, plans were set in
motion for a faithful restoration of the grade II* listed building. Comprehensive investigation highlighted significant defects in all four of the chimneys that needed to be urgently addressed. A Conservation Steering Group was formed to establish the most appropriate method of
preserving the existing fabric of the chimneys. This group consisted of the project team, Historic England, the local council’s Conservation and Planning Department and external specialists renowned in the repair of historical reinforced concrete structures. Many repair solutions were considered and it was agreed that a trial programme should be undertaken. Trials on the South West chimney clearly demonstrated that
conditions were considerably worse than anticipated and the only way forward was complete removal and replacement.
Many innovative proposals were submitted, some of which would have been spectacular and extremely newsworthy. However, in consideration of the sensitive and delicate nature of the building, the client opted for the more traditional approach to their replacement with the intention that ‘the visual and material form of the new should match that of the old’. It was important to maintain the iconic appearance of the building and its contribution to the London skyline.