Gazprom Tower Films Shown at INURA Conference

Linked below are two intriguing films concerning the Gazprom Tower of St Petersburg, Russia:

The Tale of the Gazprom Tower

This is the fairy tale about the Gazprom Tower in beautiful St. Petersburg/Russia. About the kings and queens creating it, about their dreams and wishes, about the wonderful buildings preceding it and the kings and queens who built them. It’s about voices behind the curtain and subjects, who don’t obey.
It’s a long story cut short, but without an end. Because once you release the spirits you won’t get rid of them, or as Faust said: Spirits that I’ve cited, my commands ignore.

The Tower: A Songspiel

This film is based on an analysis of the conflict that has developed
 around the planned Okhta Center with a Gazprom skyscraper in Petersburg and on real
 documents from Russian social and political life.
 April 2010

Both of these films are darkly comic and visually engaging with deep and rich historical and geographical context. Enjoy and experience them.

Do you have any ideas for Battersea Power Station?

Do you have ideas for how Battersea power station could be used NOW or in the FUTURE?

REO, the current owners of Battersea Power Station, make vague promises about community use and access to the site but all their plans are projected way into the future. REO’s schedule is “planning” until 2012 and building only set to finish in 2020- nearly 40 years after the power station was decommissioned.

Do you have any ideas for immediate use?

How about something for the kids like a giant adventure playground?
A river bus hub for river buses that acccept oyster cards?

The building is so huge, many times the size of its little and uglier sister the Tate Modern, it can probably accommodate all your ideas.

REO insist on only considering grandiose money making schemes on the site. They clearly plan to do nothing until 2012 and then only if they get their tube extension. This “all or nothing” approach flies in the face of current economic realities and other successful models of re-using industrial buildings based on either gradual and organic development or imaginative re-use of the spaces.

Do you have any ideas for how to use such a big building?

A museum of power technology; steam, water, wind, coal?
A Museum of the Thames? It could contain many boats, it has a river front. It has a great views from the chimneys.
An extension of the Science or Natural History Museums for all their bigger exhibits?
A Museum of Flight. Battersea has connections with aviation e.g.1900s Battersea Balloon Works.

Most of REO’s plans are for building around the site.Their ideas for the power station are banal, a conference centre (yawn), hotel and shopping (novel) and, would you believe, flats. If there was ever a building inappropriate for residential use it is Battersea Power Station. Their plans necessitate vandalising the magnificent brick facades by punching through windows in order to maximise income generating floor space. Light wells would be the more appropriate, architecturally sensitive but less profitable option.

Do you have any ideas that do not mean destroying the architectural value of the building?

REO make much of the “green spaces” ( the little bits between what they plan to build around the power station) but are less keen to make clear most are private spaces. Do you have ideas for the site that do not require surrounding and obscuring the Power Station with dense ugly office buildings?

Do you have any ideas how to use the current open spaces around the power station?

Doing nothing until 2020 demonstrates a bankruptcy of ideas by REO. If REO cannot think of, or at least allow, any uses that benefit Londoners and the local community then they are unsuitable custodians of a national treasure and should hand over the site to public ownership.

Visit Spectacle’s on-going Battersea Power Station Project

Watch a video trailer here: Battersea Power Station – The Story So Far

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