From the Southern Region train, just before it trundles over the bridge across the Thames and you arrive at Victoria, you can see Battersea Power Station:

It is, or possibly was, one of my favourite buildings in London.  What’s going to happen to it?

It was designed — its appearance, not the box’s innards —  in the early 1930s by the man who also came up with the British telephone box, Giles Gilbert Scott.  In defiance of modernism both Battersea and the red phone box, with its cushioned top and decorated entry, show that forms that don’t look like their prosaic functions are in many ways more interesting than ones that do.

In the case of Battersea, he made the chimneys look like fluted columns; probably he’d seen Adolf Loos’s newspaper column for the Chicago Tribune competition,

Loos's Chicago Tribune Tower competition entry, 1922.

it’s an obvious enough idea, but it just works very well here.  Anyway, the columns (or inverted table legs since they’re at the four corners),

the red brick and its Art-Deco grandeur (some might call it pomposity) are what I like best.

I don’t know why London has let this wonderful old building crumble.  It’s in many ways better than the Tate Modern:

the other former power station designed by Giles Gilbert Scott (with the chimney as a sort of campanile).

I know there was a proposal to turn Battersea into a hotel a couple of years ago; can’t someone save it before it’s too late?

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