In an exclusive interview with Battersea Power Station, Annabel discovers just what it takes to bring an icon back onto the world stage and what she has in store for us in the coming months.
Q: It feels like you’ve never been away but … at the same time like it feels like you’ve been away for a very long time. What’s been going on?
Since I stopped producing electricity in 1983 there have been many different plans for my future, but it wasn’t until recent times that a viable masterplan, together with the necessary planning approval, supportive Malaysian shareholders and the required infrastructure in the area have come together to make the project possible. Now everyone is firmly committed to executing the development masterplan by Rafael Vinoly. There will be a combination of stunning new homes, new office spaces, things to do and see and exciting destinations for shopping, eating and culture.
Q: I’ve seen that the river walkway has been opened for the first time in nearly 100 years and that there’ll be some incredible restaurants and bars coming soon. Can you tell us more?
Handovers of homes are taking place over the coming months to the first residents at Circus West, along the western side of my site. This will also be the location of Circus West Village, opening this summer with all the shops needed to create a functioning neighbourhood as well as some exciting eating and drinking choices, all from new independent brands. It will also have the new Village Hall – a dedicated space for those who live at Battersea Power Station, or locally, to use for birthdays, picnics, comedy nights, get-togethers or other events.
Q: And we understand that you’re joining up with the Underground?
My new Tube station, Battersea Power Station, will offer 15 minute journey times to the City and West End – it’s an extension of the Northern Line.
Q: Does the river play a part in your new look?
Later this year a new River Bus pier will come into service on my riverbank, accessed through a new entrance at Grosvenor Arch, allowing journeys along the Thames.
Q: My youngest daughter wants to know if she can get married in BPS as she thinks it’ll give her the biggest wedding, and therefore the most presents, in the world! What shall I tell her?
You could certainly have her next birthday party with me. The new Village Hall, set in a former railway arch, will be open at Circus West Village this summer for any occasion: weddings, children’s parties or anything else – the Battersea Power Station Community Choir will be rehearsing there. In coming years, I’ll be able to host events with thousands of people. Maybe that will be big enough for your daughter’s dream wedding!