Battersea Power Station - June / July / August 2014
Dominating the local skyline for the past 80 years, Battersea Power Station has stood idle since '83, it's condition continuously deteriorating. From the outside there seems to be not much left but a shell, the vast turbine halls are empty and it's roofs were stripped long ago, but within this massive structure, still the largest brick building in Europe, remain some fantastic remnants of it's past glory.
(left) Taken from the base of the chimney stack, south chimney, Battersea Power Station A.
After 30 years of failed proposals, including theme parks and football stadiums, the site is finally undergoing redevelopment, because of this the situation on the ground changed constantly between my (many) visits. My first ascent upwards involved squeezing through some stupidly tight gaps and climbing more levels of scaff and stairs than I'd like to remember, the next week a staircase had been installed! Several nights I didn't see another soul before sunrise, the last time I ventured there me and two others made a pretty heroic job of sneaking out the main gate past multiple guards and dog units. Still don't know how we quite pulled that one off. :D
(right) Security cameras at the river facing part of the station. Took this frame when they opened up the front for a cinema screening... might have gone exploring later. ;)
I only saw these doors on one occasion, the access having changed afterwards, these lift shafts sit directly next to the south chimney of Battersea A. This set of doors were in pretty poor condition, there were better examples and I'm kicking myself as to why I decided to grab this one, but here you are.
Before heading up on to the roof I went down to the ground level of the shaft via the stairs, the vestibule at the bottom contained a monument to the directors, managers and engineers at the year of construction, 1933. Workmen's tools littered the back of the room and the main exit was bolted shut.
(top) On the roof of Battersea Power Station A, looking South. No, that isn't security, but there were mannequins decked out in hi-vis all over both roofs. I can't believe they were meant to be a deterrent as I didn't spot them until I was up there… but I don't have any other ideas!
(bottom) Looking north towards the river. The white tarpaulins cover a steep drop down to the base of the turbine hall, maybe 200 feet or there-abouts.
Getting into control room A required far too much interaction with local fauna for my liking (read: angry birds). The state of the surrounding area was so poor I was convinced I was on the wrong track for awhile. I'd seen pictures of A side's control room before but it was something else to see it in person. Yes, it was good. >_>
The marble floors had been taken out but apart from that it seemed like time had stood still here, log sheets up until the station had stopped generating power were scattered around on desks.
Getting to Control Room B meant traversing a huge no-mans-land, crossing the vast turbine halls of two power stations, there was no way of going via the roof, well, no way I was willing to take on this occasion. An intricate maze of HERAS fencing had been put up at ground level, some of it had to be climbed over, but a majority of it had an unlocked door somewhere along the way. On-site security also happened to be set up just nearby to the second control room.
Half way across this I stopped in some shadows and snapped control room A from the base of the turbine hall, top left you can see where the white tarps were from my shots on the roof (long way down!). Below the control room windows there are some murals depicting some sort of dining/entertainment venue. I haven't actually read up on the history of these, I can't imagine such a place being set up in a coal fired power station… Behind these murals, as with most of the building, were bare steel girders and emptiness. Interesting none the less.