Before and After: London Battersea Power Plant

Sat at the edge of the Thames is Battersea Power Station, the Grade II* structure that supplied electricity to some of London’s most recognisable landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Since its closure in 1987, the site has since been reconstructed into an incredible community of homes, shops, and restaurants.

Here is our guide on things to see and do at this incredible newly refurbished retail space.

Battersea Power Station: The History

Battersea Power Station

Original works for the site started in 1929 and were designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, one of the most well-known architects of the period. Original designs called for the chimneys to be square rather than circular, but this was amended shortly after the build began. The first stage was completed by 1935, and by 1944 the second stage was complete and starting to generate electricity. The generated heat at this time heated over 1,600 homes in Pimlico. By 1955, the fourth chimney was complete, and the power station was at peak capacity. 
You may recognise the structure after it featured in varying artistic imagery, including the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals. The site was awarded Grade II status in 1980, marking the Power Station as a site of special architectural and historical significance. 
The Power Station closed shortly after in 1983 and stopped generating electricity. This was then purchased and cycled down for years until it landed with its new owners and shareholders, SP Setia, Sime Darby Property and Employers Provident Fund. Works began in 2012 to develop the 42-acre site into a new and improved open space within London.

Battersea Power Station now

Battersea Power Plant

Editorial image credit: Yau Ming Low /

Since 2012, the site has been renovated and refurbished to house various different community lead organisations. This 10-year project included the dismantling and rebuilding of the 4 iconic white chimneys due to corrosion, restyling of the important brickwork holding up the building and of course, the internal structure has been replaced and restored in some areas.
This iconic shopping and leisure complex now comprises plenty of shops, restaurants, cultural venues and open space for citizens and visitors of the Battersea area. Even tech conglomerate company Apple is relocating their head office site to this stunning new build according to CEO Tim Cook. Some areas of the site have also been turned into energy-efficient new housing for locals. The original desk in one of the Control Rooms has been restored and stands as a cultural reminder of the building’s past.

Things to do

Since the site’s glamorous opening in October 2022, it has brought many different organisations, chains and companies over to the space. There are plenty of things to see and do here, so why not make a day out of it and explore this beautifully restored complex.

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With 3 different sites across the complex and with The Power Station itself spanning over 4 floors, this site is brimming with your favourite retailers and plenty of smaller boutiques. From Adidas to Lululemon, the Power Station is filled with well-known designer and staple brands. So if you’re picking up some gifts for someone special or just browsing for yourself, there is something for everyone. The other sites, Circus West Village and Electric Boulevard contain shops and stores such as M&S, and The Battersea General Store.

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Places to eat and drink

There are plenty of places to sit down and eat or grab something on the go. From restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza to Megan’s at the Power Station, there is something for every type of cuisine. Or if you’re on the go and prefer to spend your time walking about and enjoying the site, there are plenty of food and drink stands such as Leon, Joe and the Juice and Over Under Coffee. There is also a brand new food court opening in 2023 promising global eateries and street market culture.

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Attend Glide at Battersea Power Station

This stunning riverside ice rink is at the complex from the 11th of November 2022 to the 8th of January 2023. With Christmassy stalls and celebrations dotted all around the complex, what’s better than taking to the ice after a long day of Christmas shopping. As London’s only riverside ice rink, this picture-perfect venue is ideal for the whole family. As well as the skating rink, there is also the promise of live music and entertainment, cosy cabins and plenty of local festive food vendors.

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Have some cocktails at Control Room B

Battersea Power Station also houses many popular bars, including the popular Control Room B. As one of London’s most unique all-day bar experiences, this hidden bar gives you the experience of what the structure was like back in the 1950s. Decked out with original machinery, control desks, and synchroscopes, this bar is one of a kind and something you need to experience when visiting Turbine Hall B. Open early from 10am – 12/2am, this bar is perfect for an outing for some cocktails during the day, or partying at night.

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