Design unveiled for Malaysia Square at Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station today showcased plans to build a public square at the heart of the development in London.

Malaysia Square is located at the southern entrance of the iconic art deco Power Station building

Published on
December 1, 2014


Battersea Power Station today showcased plans to build a public square at the heart of the development in London.

Aptly called Malaysia Square, the design was unveiled by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak together with the Mayor of London, Mr Boris Johnson, who was on an official visit to Kuala Lumpur.

The idea for Malaysia Square was first conceived by its owners who were seeking an avenue to showcase the uniqueness of Malaysia’s fascinating culture, rich diversity and heritage. A worldwide search for the best architects followed in order to come up with designs, ideas and concepts which would encapsulate the consortium’s aspirations for Malaysia Square.

The design competition brief challenged architects, landscape architects and placemakers to design a civic space that celebrates the historic ties between Malaysia and the UK; enables the name of Malaysia to be set in perpetuity in the centre of London; and recognises Malaysia’s stewardship of the renaissance of the iconic Power Station building.

After months of work by the development team, the Chairman of Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, along with Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh of Sime Darby and Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan of EPF, representing the shareholders, presented the final design by the Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) to the Prime Minister of Malaysia for his endorsement.

“Today, we are proud to present Malaysia Square at Battersea Power Station, which marks yet another milestone in our journey with the development since its first launch in January 2013. This caps off a remarkable year which began with the London launch of Phase 2 in May followed by a global 13-cities launch of the commercial space together with Phase 3 on 31 October 2014,” said Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Chairman of Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd.

Malaysia Square will link the southern entrance of the restored Grade II* listed Power Station that has been re-imagined by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and the top of the new Electric Boulevard high street that runs between Foster + Partners’ ‘Battersea Roof Gardens’ and Gehry Partners’ ‘Prospect Place’. BIG, the Copenhagen and New York based group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers, won the world-wide design competition that was launched in June 2014 by Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) on behalf of the shareholders. Other contributors to BIG’s winning design team include structural engineers AKT II, lighting specialists Speirs + Major and the artist Jeppe Hein.
“The innovative and thoughtful concepts underlying the creation of Malaysia Square honours the heritage and shared history of two nations to form a vibrant and exciting public space for residents and visitors to meet, mingle and shape the future together. It is the shareholders’ fondest wish that this will become an enduring landmark which celebrates the best of global East-West collaborations whilst giving every Malaysian who visits this spot in Central London a true sense of belonging and reminder of home,” Liew added.

The design for Malaysia Square centres on a two-level urban canyon with integrated bridges and stairways that are inspired by Malaysia’s landscape and geology. The spaces will be clad with limestone, granite, marble, sandstone, gravel and dolomite striations that will lead people through the square. The different types of cladding are all found in Malaysia’s geology and the sculptured form they would give the square is reminiscent of the stunning caves found in Gunung Mulu National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in Sarawak, East Malaysia. One further cladding finish that will be included to symbolise the links between Malaysia and the United Kingdom is the use of reclaimed Power Station chimney material that would be sourced from the rebuild programme that is currently underway.

A fountain planned for the central amphitheatre is set to be designed in the shape of a hibiscus – Malaysia’s national flower. Apart from offering a space for play, surrounded by water, each of the five ‘petals’ represents one principle each from the Rukunegara, Malaysia’s founding philosophy which forms the bedrock of national unity in its multicultural society. 

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Once the generator of megawatts, Battersea Power Station’s revamp is now sparking the wider rejuvenation of a once forgotten and neglected part of the capital, supporting tens of thousands of new homes and jobs and delivering regeneration on a scale rarely seen before. Bjarke Ingels Group’s concept will ensure that this incredible project has a dynamic public square that offers Londoners and visitors an inspirational experience that will live long in the memory.”

Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner at BIG, said: “Situated at the very foot of the towering Battersea icon, the new Malaysia Square derives its shape from human flows, creating a cascading landscape carved into the street – or simply put form follows flow. As an urban canvas of possibilities for cultural expression, where landscape, architecture, urbanism and media design are in complete harmony – the new Malaysia Square lends dignity to the majestic industrial heritage while paving the way for a new Malaysia identity.”

“The remarkable reception we have received from UK and international purchasers, along with the outstanding multinational talents who have collaborated to shape the future of this historic redevelopment have made the project a global success story with a very bright future indeed, as befitting Battersea Power Station’s storied past as the powerhouse of London.

On behalf of the shareholders we would like to thank our Prime Minister and the Mayor of London for their unwavering support since the very inception of this project. We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous contributions by officials from the Mayor’s Office of the Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Wandsworth, without which we could not have achieved so much in such a short time,” said Liew.

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