Control room at Battersea Power Station to become bar

·2-min read
 (Battersea Power Station Development Company)
(Battersea Power Station Development Company)

The control room at Battersea Power Station where technicians once controlled the flow of electricity to thousands of homes across London is to be turned into a bar that is due to open next summer.

The restoration of the brutalist, faience ceramic-clad Control Room B was marked this week by a visit from singer Sting who owns an apartment at the £9 billion power station development.

The control room, which retains its arc of original stainless steel control panels, was built in the Forties and Fifties as part of the second phase of the construction of the Grade II* listed former generator.

Sting visits the control room (Battersea Power Station Development Company)
Sting visits the control room (Battersea Power Station Development Company)

It has appeared in scenes from the Beatles film Help and on the cover of the rock band Hawkwind’s album Quark, Strangeness And Charm.

It is one of two control rooms at the coal-fired power station on the south bank of the Thames. Control

Room A was built in the 1930s in an Art Deco style. Station A closed in 1975, with B closing in 1983.

 (Batter Power Station Development Company)
(Batter Power Station Development Company)

Sting was visiting the power station as part of the promotion of his new album The Bridge.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, control rooms A and B worked in tandem to manage the distribution of power generated by the generator’s two vast turbines.

The control desk and freestanding “sychroscopes” - described by one visitor as looking like a “pair of sad robots” – coordinated the 66kV output of the station.

At its peak, south London’s “cathedral of power” produced a fifth of London electricity needs and provided the “juice” for the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

The original control room fittings, desks and switchgear have all been restored.

The all-day bar being created in the control room does not yet have a name or operator but the developers say it will be fully open to the public - not just the residents of London’s best known regeneration scheme.

The power station building fully reopens as a retail, entertainment, residential and office complex – including Apple’s new London “campus” - next year almost four decades after it was finally decommissioned in 1983.

Simon Murphy, chief executive of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “For the very first time, guests will be able to see the historic Control Room B in all its glory, sit back with a coffee or cocktail and soak up the breath-taking views of this heritage landmark that has finally been restored after years of lying derelict.

“When it opens late next Summer, it will not only be a great venue for socialising with friends and family or an impressive date night setting, it will also make the perfect backdrop for ‘that’ photo opportunity.”

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