BATTERSEA POWER STATION FOSTER-GEHRY
Studio Daniel Libeskind
Gehry Partners LA, California
A few years ago we were involved in a project: the development of Battersea Power Station: the most extensive real estate development in Europe. Our task was to prevent BMUs (Building Maintenace Units) in Phase 3 of the project, particularly in the Residences of Frank Gehry and Norman Foster. Maintenance plans had already been produced and our proposal would have opened a breach at the Rope Access as an alternative to the BMU’s hegemony. To stem our proposal, all access and maintenance consultants have been activated, in fear that our entry coul open a breach and divert the maintenance of the new towers and projects towards other solutions, to them extraneous. The main argument to which they have resorted was a safety issue. Interpellated HSE (Health and Safety Executive, Entity to which the whole world of safety at work refers), an investigation was opened on the legitimacy of Rope Access and on the safety at work introduced by this work at height technique. The dispute saw us winners. HSE has therefore recognized that “Rope Access” is the safest system for determining maintenance strategies of architectural sites, regardless of their complexity, in comparison to any other access system at height (BMU).
- The geometry is complex due to the private terraces and for continuous and large offsets of the façade characterized by protruding winter gardens
- Deal with a challenger aesthetics, preserving the architect’s intent and trying to make the whole more invisible possible
- Make maintenance solutions simple, avoiding issues from the complex geometry of the facade
- Producing a respective access and maintenance strategy of the materials used in the envelope
- Reduce the time of the cleaning cycle, keeping the lowest costs possible
- Apply the same principles to the other buildings
The system makes possible to access 100% of the facades.