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Today, luxury new apartments in London worth millions of pounds in Lots Road Power Station, the oldest power station in London, are available for sale. This comes after 20 years of meticulous planning, designing, and construction.
Lots Road Power Station: A Historical Overview
Built in 1902, Lots Road Power Station in Chelsea Creek is older than its more famous neighbour, Battersea Power Station, by almost four decades. During its active years, it powered the underground network from 1905 to 1985, even during the challenging times of the Blitz.
This red brick, Edwardian-era building, featuring two large halls, four towering chimneys, and a steel frame weighing 6,000 tonnes, used to consume 700 tonnes of coal, transported by barge along the River Thames.
The Powerhouse: Modern Apartments within an Edwardian Facade
The power station, now called the ‘Powerhouse,’ boasts two new glass residential towers, 37 and 25 floors high, spread across an 8.85-acre area. The original structure, with its two remaining chimneys, is preserved by incorporating a new apartment complex within it. The entire development is connected by stylish, low-lying bridges.
Luxurious Amenities and Affordable Housing: A Balanced Mix
Noted architect Sir Terry Farrell has designed the apartments around a central atrium. Permission has been granted for a juice or coffee bar at the base of one of the chimneys. The south-facing side of the building has private balconies housed within the original arched windows.
Interest Among Buyers: The Emerging Trends
A total of 260 homes are on offer, including two blocks reserved for local social housing and 61 affordable homes within the power station. Prices start from £1,695,000 for these two to four-bedroom homes, which come with amenities such as 24-hour concierge service, a health and fitness centre, a 20m swimming pool, a gym, and a Residents Club Lounge.
Preserving History: The Unique Challenges and Achievements
Chris Jones, a partner at Knight Frank, who is overseeing the sales, highlights that the Hong Kong developers, CK Hutchison, have devoted considerable resources to restoring and revitalising this Grade II listed heritage building. He reveals that owner-occupiers, including Middle Eastern millionaires seeking a second home or family base, show the most interest. Domestic downsizers and Londoners funded by family money are also making inquiries, attracted by the apartment sizes and the waterside location on the edge of Chelsea.
Jones adds that the power station has always been a fixture for residents in this part of London. Unlike the ambitious Battersea project, Lots Road has remained somewhat of a well-guarded secret. Its existence is all the more unique given the wartime history of the area, which saw many industrial plants destroyed during the Blitz.
Greenery and Design: Adding Charm to the Industrial Aesthetic
The surrounding gardens, designed by Randle Siddeley, offer secluded, planted seating areas overlooking the water. Interior design by Fiona Barrett-Campbell includes a solid granite concierge desk as a tribute to the building’s coal-fueled past, and full-height evergreen trees planted in the atrium.
CK Hutchison: The Company behind the Transformation
CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, founded by Hong Kong’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-Shing, bought Lots Road Power Station in 2002. Over the past two decades, they’ve devoted their efforts to restore and redevelop the site. Now under the leadership of Li’s son, Victor, the company is also developing a 41-acre dockyard site on the Thames in Deptford, promising to deliver 3,500 homes over the next 15 years.