Star architects team up for London project

Architects Frank Gehry and Norman Foster  have been appointed to design a series of buildings as part of the £8bn redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in London.

Los Angeles firm  Gehry Partners will collaborate with London office Foster + Partners to carry out phase three of the Rafael Vinoly masterplan adding a shopping street to connect the structure  with a new London Underground station, and building residential neighbourhoods on either side.

The site is one of London’s most famous landmarks  and has appeared on an album cover by Pink
Floyd and used as a setting for TV show Dr Who and many films, including an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

Top Premiership club Chelsea FC tried to buy the site recently and turn it into a new stadium – but planning permission was refused.

The two firms will co-design the retail stretch, known as The High Street, which will encompass shops, restaurants, a library, a hotel and a leisure  centre. Foster + Partners will add residential buildings to the east, while Gehry will work on the residential zone to the west – the architect’s first major project in the UK.

“Our goal is to help create a neighbourhood and a place for people to live that respects the iconic Battersea Power Station while connecting it into the broader fabric of the city,” said Gehry. “We hope to create
a design that is uniquely London, that respects and celebrates the historical vernacular of the city.”

Speaking to the Financial Times  he described his ambition to add a sculptural form to the centre of his design. “The developers said the [potential] renters loved the view of the power station, so I said why don’t we put a more sculptural object, we call it a ‘flower’, in the middle, as a secondary sculpture for Battersea – it gives something for everybody.”