The station is the largest brick structure in Europe with a steel frame construction overlaid with brick cladding. Construction began in March 1929. The main building work was carried out by John Mowlem & Co at that time. For many years Battersea Power Station was neglected with electricity generation ceasing in 1983.
The structural steelwork erected by Sir William Arrol & Co in 1929 is now being strengthened by William Hare Ltd (also known as HARES). Strengthening existing and new steel with M30 & M36 TCBs as well as M30 & M36 TCB Studs is required to support the current redevelopment of the power station. The TCBs are mostly deployed in the roof trusses with M36s being required to support the heavy loading.
Battersea Power Station and the surrounding area is being developed into a multi-use area which will see a variety of properties developed as well as various commercial developments such as shops, restaurants, hotels and businesses. Apple are scheduled to occupy 500,000 square feet for a new London HQ in the area that was the boiler house.
Battersea Power Station is notable for its Art Deco style as well as the highly recognisable 4 chimneys. The chimneys have been described as ‘fluted and curiously haunting’. As a dystopian symbol Battersea Power Station images have been featured on album covers for Pink Floyd & the Beatles as well as in music videos, song lyrics, film & tv and now even PC Games.
In 1977 promotional efforts to advertise Pink Floyds 1977 album -which features Battersea Power Station on the artwork- saw an inflatable flying pig named ‘Algie’ tethered to one of the chimneys. Algie then embarked on a legendary flight ‘escaping’ and floating unplanned to a farm in rural Kent.