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First picture of £4billion glass tower that could save - but dwarf - Battersea Power Station


By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 4:57 PM on 20th June 2008



A £4billion masterplan to save Battersea Power Station before it collapses was unveiled today.

The project includes a 1,000ft-high glass tower - taller than Canary Wharf - next to the instantly recognisable brick landmark.

There will be more than 3,000 homes, shopping malls, a boutique hotel and a "green" office quarter.

The plans also call for a new spur off the Northern Line to link the power station site to the Underground network.



Enlarge article-1027956-01AE7B9800000578-220_468x286.jpg A 1,000ft glass tower above the complex

The Irish developers, the third owners of the power station since it was decommissioned in 1983, describe the scheme as "the most exciting real estate proposal ever to come forward in Britain."

Its most radical element is the transparent canopy over the office development officially known as the Ecodome, but already dubbed "The Funnel".

The Funnel, the brainchild of Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, will be topped with a huge glass chimney and will provide its own "natural" air conditioning to the development, hugely reducing its electricity needs.


article-1027956-01AE805600000578-604_468x304.jpg Plans will include 3,000 homes, a boutique hotel and shopping malls

Developer Treasury Holdings UK says it is essential to make the whole project carbon neutral. If it gets the go ahead, the Funnel will be higher than any structure now standing in London when it is completed in 2019.

It will tower above the 771ft One Canada Square at Canary Wharf.

The developers insist that the transparent dome, to be made of a similar material to that covering the Eden Project in Cornwall, is not a building but a "solar driven natural ventilation system," the biggest of its kind in the world.

It will cover a 2.5million square foot office development which will have only a third of the energy needs of conventional offices.


Enlarge article-1027956-01AE852500000578-315_468x467.jpg

The sun will heat the air under the Dome, causing it to rise up the tower, known as the chimney.

That will in turn suck in air from outside the glass canopy, which will will stop at third-storey level, creating a constant breeze that will cool the offices.

The chimney will surround apartments up to 240 metres but the top 60 metres will be an empty glass tube.

The absence of electricity-hungry air conditioning will help the developers achieve their target of carbon neutrality, making the project hugely attractive to "progressive" tenants such as Google and Apple that the developers hope to attract.

Rob Tincknell, managing director of Treasury Holdings UK, said: 'This is not a token gesture, it will make a serious dent in the level of emissions.

'The annual carbon reduction is 80,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, the same as a town the size of Newbury.'

On either side of the power station will be three large apartment blocks, built "no higher" than the base of the chimneys.

In total there will be 3,200 homes on the site, a huge advance on the 750 proposed by previous owners Parkview.

Today's proposal is the latest in a long succession of plans to find a use for the 83-year-old power station. All have foundered because of spiralling costs and the fast deteriorating state of the building.

The latest project is likely to be the last chance to save the world famous "cathedral of industry" with its four white chimneys towering over the Thames. It has stood abandoned for 25 years and is in desperate need of repair work.

The chimneys, which are suffering from concrete rot, will have to be pulled down and replaced by replicas.

The restored power station will be at the centre of a 38-acre site with eight million square feet of shops, apartment, cafes, offices and a hotel.

The developers want to create three floors of shopping with many independent stores "to give it the feel of a Covent Garden or a Neal's Yard." and a two-storey hotel.

Mr Tincknell said: 'This will be Britain's first truly verifiable carbon neutral major development.

'If people begin to see the credibility of the scheme and see the benefits of it, I think people will support it.'

The power station was bought by Irish property tycoons Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett, who control Treasury Holdings, for £400million last year.

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