Battersea Power Station’s 1930s control room has been restored to its former glory – ready for its new life as an events space.
The room was originally used to control the distribution of London’s power and has a plethora of controls and dials as well as a striking semi-circular desk – which visitors might recognise from the 2010 film, The King’s Speech. Control Room A was in use until 1975, and Battersea Power Station itself decommissioned in 1983.
As well as the original technology and switchboards (all of which have been restored) the space retains its art deco interior. Teak parquet floors, grey marble walls and a gold coffered glass ceiling all speak to the era the control room was designed in.
Several practices and organisations worked on the room, including Historic England, Wandsworth Council, architects WilkinsonEyre and historic refurb specialists Lucas UK. Digital colour scanning enabled original 1930s paint colours to be matched, while 3D printing methods borrowed from the world of Formula 1 allowed missing dials, knobs and levers to be replicated and replaced.
‘Following the years of careful conservation and repair, the high quality original finishes and fittings remain the defining features of this dramatic centrepiece at the heart of the Power Station,’ says WilkinsonEyre Associate Chris Davies. ‘With its glowing dials reflecting the locations to which the station distributed electricity in the 1930s, and restored glass ceiling, the former nerve centre can be revealed in all its glory.’
Battersea Power Station is set to reopen later this year and will host apartments, shops, restaurants, cafes, a cinema and offices.