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Battersea Power Station: London's New Beauty Destination

Published October 30, 2022
Published October 30, 2022
Battersea Power Station

After a transformational restoration, the Battersea Power Station, one of London's most recognizable landmarks—a massive brick building with four white chimneys on the south bank of the River Thames, in southwest London—reopened on October 14. The former coal-fired power station, which stopped generating electricity in 1983 after 50 years, is being reborn as a retail, residential, and commercial destination.

Simon Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said, "Many said it was impossible, several tried and failed, however through the commitment of our shareholders and with the support of many Public and Private sector stakeholders, we've succeeded in bringing Battersea Power Station back to life."

Work began on the Sir Giles Gilbert Scott–designed Battersea Power Station in 1929, and the first power was generated in 1933. At its peak, Battersea Power Station supplied a fifth of London's electricity, including to Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. The building was decommissioned in 1983, and later, several failed attempts were made to redevelop the site.

After numerous owners, who had ideas for the site that ranged from a theme park to a stadium for the Chelsea Football Club, the building was purchased by Malaysian developers SP Setia and Sime Darby Property in 2012. The group hired UK architecture studio WilkinsonEyre to reimagine the former power station.

There is no mistaking the fact that the Battersea Power Station is a mall, but the design feels more like a museum, maintaining the Grade II-listed building's historical elements and character with modern sensibility. Turbine Hall A pays homage to the original 1930s construction with an art-deco style, while Turbine Hall B taps Brutalist design inspiration from the 1950s.

The building contains over 100 shops, 46,000 square meters of office space, and 254 apartments. The design converted former turbine halls into multilevel shopping arcades with a leasing strategy void of a department store anchor, creating opportunities for branded stores and local retail concepts.

With no anchor department store, a new Space NK flagship format is the beauty destination as the only multi-brand beauty retailer. Other brands are pulling out all the stops on branded concepts for one of London's most significant retail developments in decades.

Space NK: The prestige multi-brand beauty retailer launched a new flagship designed around its shoppers' needs with the largest store format to date, spanning over 2,100 sq. ft. The store has all the hallmarks of Space NK adapted to make the shopping experience more sensorial, encouraging customers to dwell and discover in the manner they choose. The space is also designed with their brands in mind, with areas designed for animation and modular fixturing that can flex to the category or brand need.

L'Occitane: The store design reflects the brand's signature yellow and Mediterranean inspiration, incorporating a refill fountain for five of the most popular products, a bottling station, and in-store recycling services.

Rituals: The Dutch beauty brand unveiled a new flagship store format described as a well-being hub. A Hair Temple provides an advisory station for shoppers to create a personalized hair ritual by discovering the most suitable elixir for their haircare formula. The store's World of Sleep is designed to offer luxury through new premium home and lifestyle collections to help customers relax, unwind, and achieve a peaceful night's rest.

The Body Shop: The brand unveils its new Workshop concept that combines its activist heritage with its philosophy that business can be a force for good. The design incorporates 90% sustainably sourced material for fixtures such as Upcycled and reclaimed materials like reclaimed wood and part-recycled plastic storage crates. A state-of-the-art Refill Station reinforces the brand's mission to make refills mainstream. The concept also features an ACT area—a community space where people can discover and be inspired by The Body Shop's activist roots as well as environmental and social campaigns.

The beauty presence is rounded out by the usual suspects and the addition of a Chanel Beauty store set to open in the next month.

Ground Floor, Turbine Hall B

  • Aesop
  • Le Labo 
  • Chanel Beauty - coming soon

Ground Floor, Turbine Hall B

  • Jo Malone 
  • Kiehl's 
  • Penhaligon’s - coming soon
  • MAC Cosmetics

The opening weekend saw over a quarter of a million visitors, and as one of the largest retail destinations in central London, it is set to contribute an estimated 20 billion pounds to the UK economy.


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