It is the “great glass elevator” that will whisk visitors to the top of a chimney at Battersea Power Station where sulphurous fumes once belched out over London.
The first images of how the remarkable cylindrical lift will look when it launches in 2021 were released today by the developers of the £9 billion regeneration scheme.
The design has been compared to the elevator in Roald Dahl’s book Charlie And The Chocolate Factory that burst through the ceiling of Willy Wonka’s plant and spawned the sequel Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator.
Up to 40 visitors at a time will be raised up through the shaft of the northwest tower until the lift pops out at 109 metres above the ground, giving 360 degree views of London and beyond in an experience that will last about half an hour. The paid-for attraction will provide the highest public observation platform in south-west London, although it will be 24 metres lower than the highest pod on the London Eye.
The chimney itself is a replica, as the originals had to be demolished in 2014 because the concrete and steel had been badly decayed by decades of exposure to smoke emitted by the power station’s coal-fired boilers.
The Malaysian-owned developers of the former electricity generator also revealed today that its Art Deco Control Room A — complete with original dials, knobs and switches — will be turned into an events space with capacity for 250 guests. Another larger complex, called The Venue, will also be created in the Boiler House as a series of interconnected spaces including a foyer and river-front terrace that could host live music, launches, fashion shows, conferences and dinners.
The biggest single room, called Event Box, will accommodate up to 1,500 people and will be situated below Apple’s London headquarters due to be occupied from 2021.
Andrew Hilston, head of leasing at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “These unique spaces are central to our plans that will make Battersea Power Station one of London’s most exciting destinations.”