Apple is moving its UK headquarters to Battersea power station — an iconic building in South West London in the middle of a $10 billion regeneration project. The iPhone-maker will be moving into the former boiler house in what was previously a functioning coal-fired power station, decommissioned in 1983. A Malaysian consortium of companies is currently renovating the massive building into a range of offices, shops, and luxury flats.
The decision has been greeted with enthusiasm by the UK government, as a vote of confidence in London after the political and economic fallout of Brexit. The deal is the largest letting of office space in the area for 20 years, with Apple due to take up some 500,000 square feet spread over six floors — approximately 40 percent of the available offices. Other tech giants including Facebook and Google are currently building similarly substantial London headquarters.
In a statement, Apple said: “We are looking forward to opening Apple’s new London campus at the Battersea power station in 2021 1400 Apple employees from existing offices around London will relocate to this magnificent new development at one of London’s best-known landmarks. It’s a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighborhood rich with history.”
As well as being the largest brick building in Europe, instantly recognizable by its four identical chimneys, Battersea power station has been a staple in British culture. It appeared on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, and its massive interior has been used as a set for a number of films including Children of Men and The Dark Knight. Although Apple will be moving its UK staff into this same space, the company’s European headquarters will remain in Ireland.