The first images of Bjarke Ingels Group's public square for the £8 billion Battersea Power Station redevelopment in London have been revealed just a few weeks after BIG was appointed as the competition-winning designer. The public square, which will be BIG's first U.K. project, is only a part of the Battersea Power Station's redevelopment plan.
Officially titled "Malaysia Square", BIG's design was unveiled by Malaysia's Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and London Mayor Boris Johnson in Kuala Lumpur.
More details below.
From Battersea Power Station:
"The idea for Malaysia Square was first conceived by its owners who were seeking an avenue to showcase the uniqueness of Malaysia’s fascinating culture, rich diversity and heritage. A worldwide search for the best architects followed in order to come up with designs, ideas and concepts which would encapsulate the consortium’s aspirations for Malaysia Square.
The design competition brief challenged architects, landscape architects and [urban designers] to design a civic space that celebrates the historic ties between Malaysia and the UK; enables the name of Malaysia to be set in perpetuity in the centre of London; and recognizes Malaysia’s stewardship of the renaissance of the iconic Power Station building."
"The design for Malaysia Square centres on a two-level urban canyon with integrated bridges and stairways that are inspired by Malaysia’s landscape and geology. The spaces will be clad with limestone, granite, marble, sandstone, gravel and dolomite striations that will lead people through the square. The different types of cladding are all found in Malaysia’s geology and the sculptured form they would give the square is reminiscent of the stunning caves found in Gunung Mulu National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in Sarawak, East Malaysia.
One further cladding finish that will be included to symbolise the links between Malaysia and the United Kingdom is the use of reclaimed Power Station chimney material that would be sourced from the rebuild programme that is currently underway.
A fountain planned for the central amphitheatre is set to be designed in the shape of a hibiscus, Malaysia’s national flower. Apart from offering a space for play, surrounded by water, each of the five ‘petals’ represents one principle each from the Rukunegara, Malaysia’s founding philosophy which forms the bedrock of national unity in its multicultural society."
Below are renderings of other main components of the project:
Collaborating with the Malaysian-backed Battersea Power Station Development, BIG joins a star-studded list of architects for the redevelopment plan. BIG's public square will be in the middle of the development and connected to Frank Gehry's + Foster and Partners' proposed pedestrian "high street". Restoration specialist architects Wilkinson Eyre will refurbish the power station (pictured below), while Ian Simpson + drMM is in charge of designing the development's Circus West residential housing scheme.
The entire development will be located in a masterplan designed by Rafael Viñoly. Rafael Viñoly's masterplan spans 39 acres of the River Thames frontage and comprises over 3,400 new homes as well as offices, shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, community and leisure space, and 18 acres of open space.
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