After months of debate and competitive tendering, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (architect of the Battersea Power Station) was commissioned to design the new Bankside Power Station. The Scott family has its roots in Bankside but it was the eloquence and modernist vision of his single chimney design, with the building set parallel to the river, that the won the day. But there were many dissenters. However, the idea that air pollution from the 300 foot chimney would be reduced by new oil-fired technology was seen as less significant than the overbearing presence of the power station’s chimney itself on the urban landscape – especially the impact this would have on St Paul’s Cathedral directly opposite on the other side of the Thames. Quoted in the Daily Telegraph in May 1947, Lord Llewellyn claimed the new power station would be like putting an alligator in a lily pond. The new power station – Bankside B – opened in 1952 and continued supplying the capital until its closure in 1983 when it was deemed uneconomic as a result of the 1970s global oil crisis.
20”x16” (406 mm x 508 mm)