New plans for the troubled Battersea power station site in London, unveiled yesterday, display long stratified blocks snaking round the lumbering brick structure and giving definition to courtyards, parks and access routes.

Real Estate Opportunities, the developer, and Rafael Viñoly, the New York-based architect, have presented a more commercial proposal than the vast 300m glass eco-chimney that lay at the heart of their first attempts at redesigning the site a year ago. The new plans for the £4bn development retain the power station’s shell, surrounding it with reflecting pools and filling it with a dense mix of office, leisure, retail and residential accommodation.

Even in its latest incarnation, this remains a vast scheme. The 38-acre riverside site in south-west London represents an extraordinary opportunity that has gone unfulfilled since it stopped generating electricity in 1983. It seemed blighted by inaccessibility, toxic land and the inhibiting presence of the decaying but protected industrial monument at its centre.

Financial Times