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Battersea Power Station’s Lift 109 Experience Retail Space, London, UK

Known for its distinctive character and iconic geometrics on the London skyline, Battersea Power Station has become one of the capital’s must-visit locations. Thanks to a captivating lighting scheme by award-winning lighting designers Michael Grubb Studio, Lift 109 and accompanying exhibition area now boasts a one-of-a-kind dynamic audio-visual experience within the shopping and leisure destination.

In addition to creating the ethereal lighting for the Lift 109 experience – a dynamic journey 109 metres to the top of the structure – Michael Grubb Studio has delivered the lighting for the accompanying retail space. This engaging space invites visitors to become a part of the Battersea Power Station community; sharing their experience and taking home a memory from their visit.

Impact, intrigue and flexibility were the primary lighting design principles for the space. The Lift 109 brand is bold and impactful, with the Michael Grubb team using rings and circles to echo the form of the power station chimneys. These circular forms also mirror the dynamic animated lit experience offered to visitors as they ascend the chimney in the glass lift to the inspirational view at the end of the journey.

To create synergy and harmony, it was also important that the retail space visually linked to the rest of the Lift 109 exhibition.

Furthermore, given the purpose of the retail area, the lighting needed to entice visitors into the space to purchase merchandise. Many of the retail displays and units are temporary and mobile, so it is vital the lighting scheme can be adjusted and adapted in accordance with differing retail offerings and layouts.

As with many retrofit projects, the lighting scheme for the retail space at Lift 109 needed careful coordination between the existing infrastructure and the new equipment. Having worked on heritage buildings and sites across the globe, the Michael Grubb Studio were able to draw on their extensive experience in making sure the new and old blended seamlessly together.

To achieve the required outcomes, the team at Michael Grubb Studio have introduced a multi-layered and meticulously executed lighting design. A custom RGBW pendant, created specifically for the retail space, visually links to the chandelier in the main Lift 109 exhibition. It also catches attention and draws visitors into the space.

Track-mounted spotlights and integrated linear LED work in harmony to create a layered, versatile lit effect to the items on display. This undoubtedly enhances the appeal and look of the premium merchandise, while contributing to the success of this space. The overall result is dynamic and impactful.

Rachael Flint, Associate at Michael Grubb Studio, said: “The importance of the Lift 109 experience’s retail space cannot be overlooked. It is a wonderful place for visitors to reflect on what they have learnt, felt and seen, and choose an item for purchase giving them a lasting memory of their time at this iconic site.

“The lighting design plays a dual role; acting commercially with regard to encouraging browsers to become buyers, while ensuring visitors know they are still within the Lift 109 experience through the atmosphere and the visual cues. Overall, the result makes for an unforgettable experience, and the team are incredibly proud to have worked on this world-famous, awe-inspiring project.”

Battersea Power Station’s Lift 109 experience has already received immensely positive feedback and huge levels of industry recognition. The Lift 109 experience recently won a Red Dot Design award for Brand and Communication. The lighting design played a key role in securing this success, as the lighting emphasised the Lift 109 values and identity across all areas including the retail space.

Full project credits:

Lead Consultant Exhibition Design and Art Direction of Media: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
Client: Battersea Power Station
Lighting Designer for Chimney Lift Experience and Retail Space: Michael Grubb Studio
Lighting Designer for the Exterior and Interior of Battersea Power Station: Speirs Major
Squint Opera: Media Design Input and Production
Wilkinson Eyre: Architect
Lift Engineering/Design: OTIS (main lift) and Schindler (express lifts)
Sysco: Audiovisual Hardware Design and Engineering
Security and MEP Consultant: Steensen Varming
Project Management and QS: Fraser Randall
Lead Contractor: Beck


Battersea Power Station


Battersea Power Station / Ralph Appelbaum Associates / Andrew Lee