I’ve written a book about Battersea Power Station.
It’s called Up In Smoke: The Failed Dreams Of Battersea Power Station and is out in the spring via Paradise Road, a new publisher concentrating on London non-fiction.
Battersea Power Station is one of London’s favourite buildings, but nobody before has told its story.
This will be the first book to explore the history of the building, from conception and construction, through use and obsolescence, and then into the long years of post-closure redevelopment.
I wanted to understand why so many people have been fascinated by Battersea over the years. I’ve spoken to former workers and designers of inflatable pigs, location scouts and photographers, politicians, Lords, architects, planners and entrepreneurs.
This is a book that tells us so much about London and the way it changes. It’s a story of power and land, of big ideas and broken dreams. It’s a story that takes in property and politics, architecture and popular culture. It’s a story about our city and our relationship with its most popular building.
It asks how we went from this…
Awesome! Will there be an e-book and is there a pre-order link?
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I used to live just down the street from the Power Station and for years watched it roofless and howling soundlessly at the elements like some architectural Lear. I firmly believe that the local authority, Wandsworth and national government delayed and prevaricated hoping the building would fall down and thus clear the site for untrammelled and Shardy developments.
About 20 years ago — after the Thatcher hard hat launch and before the countless other failed schemes, there was a move to search out alternate uses for the space and still keep the brick colossus.
I suggested a real estate coup that should have been self financing — I pushed for moving the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and bits of The Imperial War Museum including some of the static displays from Duxford onto the whole of the site. Even the V& A too. Selling off a key slab of Kensington would have netted squillions of pounds to re-invent Henry Cole’s concept of an arts and sciences quarter.
Anyhoo, that didn’t happen…
Sounds great. It’s about time a definite work was available about this iconic building. Will the book be available on NetGalley.com for review?
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