Link - article by Mark Obstfeld and Avi Abrams

      Never Obsolete: From Generating Electricity to Generating Art

      Some power stations are destined to fall into ruins, yet some are starting
      to be recognized as monuments to technology and a source of artistic
      inspiration, and still others are even being converted into ultra-modern
      shopping malls and theme parks.
      I find this trend highly fascinating, as we continue with our series
      featuring the most sublime abandoned power stations - the ones that linger
      in our subconscious, generating bittersweet emotions and inspiration
      instead of good old electricity.

      (Richmond Power Station, image credit:
        Joseph E. B. Elliott)

      ("Sunshine Turbine" inside Richmond Power Station - image credit:
        Ethan A. Wallace)

      The Pink Floyd Power Plant: Pigs, Tanks, and Avant Garde

      In our
      first part, London-based photographer
      Mark Obstfeld -
      a good friend of DRB - showed us London’s fascinating and historic
      abandoned substations. Today, we are delighted to feature his photographs
      of the Battersea Power Station, taken in late 2006 when the plant
      was opened for an exhibition of Chinese art (it is rarely open to the




      Pink Floyd fans will recognise this structure instantly - Floyd hung a
      pink inflatable pig between the two front towers for the cover of their
      1977 Animals album. "The inflatable pig was tethered to one of the
      power station's southern chimneys, but broke loose from its moorings and,
      to the astonishment of pilots in approaching planes, rose into the flight
      path of Heathrow Airport. Police helicopters tracked its course, until it
      landed in Kent." (more


      The station also appeared in a number of movies, including Alfred
      Hitchcock's Sabotage, The Beatles' movie Help!, and Stanley
      Kubrick's 1987 film Full Metal Jacket (with many scenes shot inside
      the station).











      Wandering around in the gloom and mystery of Battersea shattered
      interiors, you can find yourself face-to-face with... a tank:



      The tank was a part of exhibition which took place in 2006 inside
      Battersea - some of the original art is visible inside one of the turbine
      halls as well.

      (images credit:
        Mark Obstfeld)

      Steam Turbines, Coal Fires and Brass Pipes

      Another abandoned power plant with some beauty to spare (or "kept its
      electrifying good looks", if we may say so), is this
      condensing power unit at Västerås in central Sweden (built in
      1915-17). Swedish photographer
      Jakob Ehrensvard
      explored it in detail, producing some evocative pictures:


      The control room looks definitely well-preserved, with the 1940s-style
      plastic knobs, dials and a general claustrophobic feel.


      Flying inside the Death Star:





      Turbine Hall Sanctuary:

      (images credit:
        Jakob Ehrensvard)

      Here is an Art Nouveau-styled power station, with a strangely streamlined

      (image credit:

      Another find inside the
      Richmond Power Station
      presents itself as a work of art:

      ("Sunshine Turbine" - image credit:
        Ethan A. Wallace)

      Abandoned Mystery Site (What Could This Be?)

      This particularly intriguing structure in the Caucasas Mountains near
      Kislovodsk, Russia, prompts all sorts of questions about its origins. A
      Cold War laser gun testing ground? Astrophysical observatory gone to rust?

      (image credit:



      Check out "Abandoned Structures" series on DRB! ->


Visual Caffeine #8
Visual Caffeine, Issue 8

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Visual Caffeine #7
Visual Caffeine, Issue 7

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Art Deco
Imperial Dreams: Art Deco Update

Wings, Gears, & Glamorous Ladies

1970s SciFi
DRB Pics-of-the-Day

Grand Space Adventure 1970s Art

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly eclectic presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a valued online magazine, bringing you quality info and entertainment every time you visit the site - About DRB

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at the Battersea power station site a few years ago, the site was the venue for two weeks of concerts. I spent a day exploring the interior of the power station its amazing and strangely beautiful,especially the amazing control room with the brass knobs and old gauges is a steam punk dream. will try and find the pics i took.

Anonymous LittleInsect said...

Battersea Power Station is an iconic piece of Art Deco architecture, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, and as such should be restored and preserved. There is a group dedicated to doing just this, and it can't come quick enough for me.

Blogger Elvee Kaye said...

I love the steampunk look of some of these places! They should be preserved as examples of industrial architecture.

Blogger Unknown said...

It would be good for a low-budget film like Cube

Anonymous Tom said...

Some fantastic photos and info there - especially the images of Battersea Power Station. Can't believe that tank, how random is that?! I guess it must be left over from Full Metal Jacket... I've been past BPS so many times on the train and am always impressed. Great to see sime pics of the inside though. Looking forward to the redevelopment but hopefully it won't lose too much of its mystery in the process.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More significant than Pink Floyd or Full metal Jacket, Battersea was used to fill several of the scenes in McGyver the Movie.

If you want to see what an old powerstation can become have a look at this. apologies, i think it is only in German...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As publicity for the Simpsons movie, the version of the pig from the animated movie was floated in front of this station in the same place Pink Floyd's pig was. Photos are probably still around the internet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm. high voltage insulators. good for a collector.thats a place to go insulator hunting.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abandoned Mystery Site (What Could This Be in the Caucasas Mountains near Kislovodsk, Russia

It is a prototype of a radar tracking tower! Love you Site some great forgotten stuff on it!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tank you see was part of an exhibition, I went to it as it made Battersea PS open to the public and always wanted to see it. From inside its very big and empty, Thatcher let the vulchers in and they stripped the place for its metal during the 1980s I'm sorry to say (that would never have happened in France!).

If anybody else went to see the exhibition do you recall the wall of Apples? It was slowly decomposing, a great piece. I also got a recording of the video playing. Oh and there was a penny machine which took pennies and you put them in and turn the machine crank with a handle, they would come out flattened with a logo on them - I still got mine. At the time it was of the shopping centre complex to be invested in by a Chinese firm, but they pulled out.

Blogger Lightning Rose said...

Battersea PS was also used as a location in the 1995 film, "Richard III".


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