Exceptional housing with a focus on quality and individuality

The Metropolitan: Battersea Police Station

Location London
Client Linden Homes

A brief history

The 1911 police station, designed by RIBA Fellow John Dixon Butler, consisted of an attractive Edwardian frontage but internally it was a functioning police station. Regenerating the site for residential use posed a considerable challenge.

Project vision

This conservation response was developed in partnership with Linden Homes. The vision was to convert the former police station to residential use, a unique development in the heart of vibrant Battersea. We were charged with safeguarding the history of the site, contributing to the regeneration of the area and providing much needed housing.

Design delivery

Our proposal delivered a high quality, sustainable 63 1,2 and 3 bed residential apartment scheme and increased the height of the building to five stories.

We retained much of the original features and added an impressive modern extension, with a glass walled staircase atrium linking the two, effectively combining the classic and contemporary in one. The original sash windows have faithfully been replicated and the cornice returned to the original pattern.

The new extension graduates from five to three storeys to meet the original police station block.

Overcoming challenges

Whilst the main fabric of the front façade was good condition, the internal irregularly-shaped room sizes had to be addressed to ensure successful conversion to modern residential apartments. We altered the internal partitions to ensure the new apartment layouts work successfully with the fenestration.

The existing floor levels also did not comply with those required by residential apartments. However, by adding a further 900mm when renewing the original roof, we were able to introduce a new floor at roof height. This additional level and run of windows has balanced the once out of proportion façade.


We were able to retain the original characterful building façade, along with the wrought iron work and cast iron rainwater goods.

User experience

At the heart of the development sits a south facing communal courtyard with seating and trees, to be enjoyed by residents. In addition, nearly all of the apartments benefit from private balconies or a patio.

New and old

Exploring the relationship between the new and old allowed for a number of exciting design features. A 4 storey height atrium between the two buildings houses a bright and airy circulation space, with cantilevered walkways and views out to the adjacent neighbourhood.

Historic character

The design celebrates the generous proportions and historic character of the police station to create a series of high quality living spaces.

An exploration in preservation and conservation, the bold new architecture revitalises the handsome police station through the use of a restrained and considered palette of materials, providing exceptional housing with a focus on quality and individuality."

Nicholas Mulholland, Project Director

Two distinct buildings

The new development sits respectfully behind the existing police station, while still having a character and presence of its own, creating a playful dialogue between the two distinct massing elements.