The AJ can reveal the first images of BIG’s competition-winning scheme for a key new square at Battersea Power Station
The so-called Malaysia Square scheme - which will mark the New York and Copenhagen-based practice’s UK debut - will link the southern entrance of Giles Gilbert Scott’s Grade II*-listed landmark with Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry’s proposed ‘Electric Boulevard’ high street.
Rumours of BIG’s appointment emerged last month (see AJ 12.11.14), but the Battersea Power Station Development – the Malaysian-backed company overseeing the £8billion scheme in south-west London refused to comment.
However the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is currently in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur flying the flag for UK firms, confirmed the Danish star’s victory.
The ‘urban canyon’ will be split over two levels with integrated bridges and stairways ‘inspired by Malaysia’s landscape and geology’.
Plans include a fountain in the square’s central amphitheatre which will be designed in the shape of a hibiscus flower – Malaysia’s national flower.
The project has been described by one source as among the most important schemes within Rafael Viñoly’s masterplan for the site, and a ‘front-door’ to the development.
It is understood the design team includes lighting specialists Spiers + Major and engineers to the stars AKTII.
Despite worldwide success, BIG has so far been unable to get a foothold in the UK. In April this year, the practice narrowly missed out in the competition to redevelop the grounds around London’s Natural History Museum, won by Niall McLaughlin.