Apple takes over a famed "cathedral of power" as it announces plans to move 1400 staff from 8 locations in London to the restored Battersea power station, making it one of the biggest Apple sites outside of the US.
The iPhone maker will occupy all top 6 office floors in the Grade II listed building, which has stood derilict for 33 years on the bank of the Thames. The actual move to the building should take place in 2021, and makes Apple the biggest single tenant in the 42-acre complex comprising homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities.
“This is a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighborhood rich with history,” an Apple statement to the Evening Standard reads.
Apple's European HQ will remain in Cork, Ireland, where it employs around 6000 people. The company has 2530 staff in the British capital, 1100 of which work in its retail operations. Its biggest London office is in Hanover Street, Mayfair, near the flagship Regent Street store.
Famously used in the cover to Pink Floyd's Animals, the Art Deco building was built in 1933 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and provided London with power until 1983. It stood crumbling since then, despite attempts by not one, not two, but three schemes using the massive structure. The latest attempt comes from a consortium of Malaysian shareholders Sime Darby, SP Setia and the Employees Provident Fund, who bought the property in 2012.
The consortium plans to finish the restoration by 2020. It will include a new Zone 1 Northern Line tube station, and already has apartments acquired by stars such as Sting and adventurer Bear Grylls.