Missed Opportunity: Museum & Roller Coaster for Battersea
With the future of the now decommissioned Battersea coal-burning power station on London’s South Bank, developers are now beginning to speculate what mate become of the 90 year old site.Â Battersea A Power StationÂ was built in the 1930s, withÂ Battersea B Power StationÂ to its east in the 1950s. The two stations were built to an identical design, providing the well known four-chimney layout.
As part of theÂ ArchTriumph Museum of Architecture competition, French design studio Atelier ZĂĽndel Cristea (AZC) proposed a plan to completely transform the site into a museum dedicated to architecture but with the added bonus of a large roller coaster costing some 100m Euros.
“The development of culture is one of the highest possible human ideals. Therefore, in every museum it is not the exhibition of works that has meaning, but the presence of visitors and their wandering through and exposure to displays of works that stimulate meaning. Our project puts the power station on centre stage, the structure itself enhancing the site through its impressive scale, its architecture, and its unique brick material. Our created pathway links together a number of spaces for discovery: the square in front of the museum, clearings, footpaths outside and above and inside, footpaths traversing courtyards and exhibition rooms. The angles and perspectives created by the railâ€™s pathway, through the movement within and outside of the structure, place visitors in a position where they can perceive simultaneously the container and its contents, the work and nature. They come to participate in several simultaneous experiences: enjoying the displayed works, being moved by the beauty of the structure and the city: river, park, buildings.”
Unfortunately, even though the concept came first in the competition, it will remain just that – a concept. The planned roller coaster and museum will not be built, but the site is more likely to make way to a swerve apartment or office complex.
Photos credit to AZC: