Contractors World

The UK & Ireland's leading magazine for construction,
demolition, mining and quarrying industries
Contractors World - 2015 Vol 5 No 2

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Iconic Chimneys
Return to London


Battersea Power Station Development Company has announced that the first of the four chimneys has risen again in line with the rebuild programme. The first publicly visible sections of the South West chimney were unveiled recently.

A milestone in June as the first sections of the new chimney reached above the brick line and into the skyline.The Battersea Power Station chimneys have formed part of the London skyline since 1935 when the first chimney was completed, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Even from their early days these imposing chimneys embedded themselves into London's history. In 1940, RAF pilots used the plumes of the white vapour to guide them home during the Second World War and the Luftwaffe would also use the plumes for navigation which explains why the Power Station avoided extensive bombing in this period.

By the seventies the chimneys had become more of a cultural icon across the world and were most famously featured on the front cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album, Animals, where an inflatable pig was tethered to one of the southern chimneys but famously broke loose and landed on the coast of Kent.

This first unveiling of the South West chimney marks a key step in the full rebuild programme which will be completed in the summer of 2016.

The whole process has been undertaken by a group of specialist contractors including construction managers, Skanska, expert heritage building consultants, Beroa Bierrum and Buro Happold Engineering who have been working using the same methods to the original chimney build from back in the 1930s, to ensure the new chimneys are rebuilt to be visually identical to the originals.

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