Control Room A – Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station was one of the first “Super Power Stations” created to unify electricity supply across London in 1930s. Built almost as a monument to electricity, the opulent Art Deco interior, marble walls and polished parquet flooring show pride in the cutting-edge technology, and brick cathedral style exterior lead the station to be described as a “temple of power”.

I have chosen to model the control room at the heart of the station, one of the most lavishly decorated parts of the station. Running the length of this long thin room is the impressive central control panel which receives the status of the entire station and beyond in its hundreds of gauges and dials, and sends out controls via numerous buttons, levers and switches. The control panel is lit from above by an intricate coffered glass ceiling which is suspended below a skylight in the main roof of the building.

10th July 1933: The control room of Battersea Power Station (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Control Panel

 

Battersea Power Station has become a cultural icon, appearing in many films, tv shows and music artwork. The control room itself has also been used several times, notably for a scene in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life for which I created a vignette as part of the model. This scene was a surreal comedy sketch where the audience is asked to “find the fish”. Bizarre characters give cryptic clues to the whereabouts of a hypothetical fish, perhaps as a humorous allegory to the author’s search for the meaning of life.

Vignette of Monty Python characters

Feedback:

  • Very interesting use of acetate to represent the glass in the room
  • Could develop different views of the room into the model – singular viewpoint at present
  • Play on the surreal theme and integrate further into the model

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