Battersea is set to become the beating heart of a new community of Londoners, they say. Architect Rafael Viñoly’s masterplan was approved by Wandsworth Council and the Mayor of London in 2010, with the 42-acre lot designed for homes, shops, cafés and offices as well as over 19 acres of public space.
The entire £9 billion project won’t be completed until 2025, but the first phase, Circus West village, will see a mixture of residential units, offices and retail outlets open this spring. That’s not to mention an enormous rooftop garden when it comes to phase two. Over a kilometre long, with breathtaking views, revellers can expect the space to play host to superb pop-ups and festivals.
Billed as quite the creative hub, as well as small businesses, the site has also so far attracted big players such as mega-corporation Apple. As the largest office tenant, Apple will take up 40% of the entire office space available and occupy approximately 500,000 square feet.
Sadiq Khan has welcomed the news, saying: ‘I am delighted that Apple is moving into Battersea Power Station, helping to generate new jobs and economic prosperity for Londoners. It is a further sign that London is open to the biggest brands in the world and is the leading city for trade and investment.’
Keen to find out more, we caught up with three entrepreneurs who will bring their unique offerings to the area in spring 2017…
Knightsbridge’s favourite hairdresser and stylist to the stars Paul Edmonds on why opening up shop in creative Battersea was a no-brainer
What drew you to Battersea?
We’re busy, and we’d got to a point where we were producing new stylists coming up through the ranks with nowhere to put them. It was time to expand. We were looking in Mayfair, but it’s a bit stuffy. We wanted something a little more edgy – and then the opportunity came up for Battersea. It’s iconic, and for me it stands for London. The project will become an integral part of the culture south of the river. We work in film and TV and I think Battersea fits in well with our background. We’ll be really at home there. I love it that you’ve got a bit of high-tech with Apple coming in, as well as the artisanal, artistic aspect. Circus West is going to be full of independent businesses. There was a lot of talk about what we could bring and what we could do for the area.
What else do you think is special about this particular pocket of south west London?
I live on the South Bank and I’ve always loved the river. It’s got a lot of energy to it. And there’s a certain dynamism that the power station is feeding. That’s what makes it different. Our clients from Knightsbridge are desperate to go down and have a look.
How will your offering differ from the Brompton Road salon?
We’re doing facials, as we do already, but we’ll also have a barber shop, and we’re putting in a blow dry section. It will be a quicker service. People can plug their laptops in or iPads while they’re there. Similarly to Brompton Road, it will be sectioned off into areas so that it’s not just one big white space. That way, it’s not intimidating or clinical, and it affords privacy.
Darwin & Wallace
The pioneering group behind the popular No 32 The Old Town in Clapham have modernised the pub scene in London’s most exciting urban villages. Now, they’re set to do the same in Circus West…
What is your vision for your new opening in Battersea this year?
We’re a bar restaurant group as opposed to a restaurant group, and we’re the only ‘pub’ unit in phase one of the scheme. Our vision was to create the modern version of a pub, in line with the way that socialising habits have changed and the day has lengthened. We perform the role of a pub but in a flexible way, with food available all day. For us, to have the only pub space available in what is essentially a brand new village for London adjacent to an iconic building, was too good an opportunity to pass up. We just wanted to be there.
What is it about London’s affluent ‘pocket villages’ that appeals to Darwin and Wallace?
We’re in the heart of London’s villages. We’re a relatively small business and our bars punch above their weight. Battersea is slightly different in that it’s a new build, but we’re going to inject a lot of character into the space by using lots of reclaimed materials to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. No 32 The Old Town is really popular and was, similarly to Battersea, a site that was slightly unloved – although it was in a great position in the Old Town and has a gorgeous terrace. It’s a lovely Victorian building which now has a lot of style along with wonderful food and drink.
What will you offer to residents of and visitors to Circus West?
We pay attention to every single thing we do. We have Caravan coffee and fresh juices in the morning and then we move on to Bloody Mary’s and cocktails with handmade syrups and craft ales, married with a menu cooked from scratch. Clapham is well served with places to go, but the area around Battersea Power Station – Vauxhall, Nine Elms – isn’t. Circus West is going to provide a natural heart to anchor it. It’s bordered by parks and it’s not long to walk to Chelsea and it’s just a really great area ready for new life – just as the King’s Cross development has created a new hub up in north London. The news that Apple is taking office space is a real boon. It reinforces that this is no ordinary development – it’s a creative hub and the businesses alongside us are really passionate.
Taskin Muzaffe, one of the team behind Pedler Peckham Rye – the darling of SE15’s burgeoning restaurant scene – will bring sustainability to Battersea
What made you want to get involved?
Growing up in London, I used to get the train over across the bridge every day to get into Victoria, so I saw Battersea Power Station every day. When the opportunity came up for us to take a unit I jumped at the chance. It was great that they wanted us to get involved, as we were a very new business at that point. It’s a great mix of independents, and of people starting out and growing their businesses, who have something different to offer.
What’s so special about the food at Pedler?
Our USP is that we serve a completely seasonal, ever-changing menu. At the Pedler in Peckham Rye, the menu changes daily, and we source as much of the food from as close as possible. Small independent grower farms dotted around south east London grow our veggies for us, and we use fishermen down in Brixham who go out with their day boats and send their fish up every morning. It’s all about sustainability, traceability, being in tune with the seasons, and getting as much as we can from our shores. When it comes to olive oil, we actually own an olive grove with 145 trees in Puglia in Italy and they range from 30 to 700 years old. We use small producers for our wines and really focus on changing our wines to suit the menu – and likewise with our cocktails. Little Bird Gin is also part of our brand, and has been going for about four years.