Haunting pictures show Battersea Power Station in the 1950s vs developers' plans now

As Battersea's developers unveil its third phase, MT compares images of how it was as a working power station with developers' plans for it in the future.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 08 Apr 2014

The Battersea Power Station Development Company has unveiled its plans for 1,300 homes in the third phase of the development, a collaboration between architects Frank Gehry (he of the Guggenheim in Bilbao) and Norman Foster. Spoiler: there's lots of glass and steel.

The plans feature a 'new high street' called Electric Boulevard. To its east will be five buildings designed by Gehry, known as 'Prospect Place'. In the middle is a flower-shaped building called, appropriately, 'The Flower'.

To the west of Electric Boulevard will be another area designed by Foster + Partners, known as 'The Skyline', running along the side of the boulevard, which will 'create amazing gardens in the sky'.

What with flowers and sky gardens, it's easy to forget Battersea was once a working power station - but here are some pictures of it as it was then, in stark contrast with images showing the developers' plans:

Then...

The power station from above, 1953


Birds swoop towards it in early-morning mist


An operator monitors dials in control room A

... and now


An aerial view of the masterplan showing phase three - including the distinctive 'Flower' building - to the south of the power station


View from the east of phase three


Electric Boulevard


The Skyline roof garden, designed by Foster + Partners

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