Tech giant Apple has its eyes set on moving into Battersea Power Station in south London. Currently vacant, the power station was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1929, completed 1935, and is a much-loved landmark of the capital. Apple plans to occupy 500,000 square feet of interior (40 percent of the space available) with offices, spanning six floors in the power station’s central boiler house.
The building has stood empty after 1983 when it was decommissioned, however, its art deco brick decor and iconic quadrangle of chimneys have lived on to become a cultural icon. Gilbert Scott’s work was used on the cover of Pink Floyd’s album “Animals” and also in the Batman film “The Dark Knight.”
The vacant building in 2010. (Courtesy David Samuel)
After many redevelopment attempts, including a hotel design by designer Ron Arad and a stadium proposition from Chelsea Football Club, the power station is being redeveloped by a Malaysian consortium. The group is well underway with a project that will see high-end luxury condos, offices, shops and restaurants fill the 42-acre vicinity. Apple plans to have moved in by 2021 by which time employees will have access to the site from the London Underground Northern Line’s new extension, as well as from existing overground services from Battersea Park station.
The U.K.’s recently appointed Chancellor to the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, commented on the deal, remarking how it is “another vote of confidence in the UK economy.” “Apple’s decision further strengthens London’s position as a global technology hub and demonstrates how the UK is at the forefront of the next steps in the tech revolution,” he said.
A spokesman for Apple has said the move would mean “its entire team [could] work and collaborate in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighbourhood rich with history”.
“This is a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location, while supporting the renovation of a neighborhood with rich history,” said Apple in a statement.
Meanwhile, Battersea Power Station Development Company’s chief executive Rob Tincknell added: “We are delighted Apple chose to make this their home in 2021. It is a testament to not only the fantastic building but the wider regeneration of the 42-acre site, which offers a carefully curated mix of homes, businesses and leisure amid extraordinary open spaces and new transport links.”