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Architecture and the BBC

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Chris Kane Chris Kane | 16:01 UK time, Thursday, 8 October 2009

On occasion I get asked about the BBC and its support for high quality architecture.  The BBC is housed in many different types of buildings across the UK and over the decades we have put a lot of effort into bringing the estate up to date and protecting great buildings such as Broadcasting House in London.  We are also very proud of our new generation of buildings such as Media Village in London and Pacific Quay in Glasgow plus a whole raft of other regional sites ranging from Hull to Leeds to Liverpool to Birmingham.

In a Times article featuring one of Britain's most accomplished architects David Chipperfield, the BBC is accused of creating a tension between art and money, thereby penny pinching on design.  We have to hold our hands up and plead guilty to this charge.  Part of the role of BBC Workplace is to watch every penny of licence fee payers' money on our major projects as we believe this is what the public wants.



  • Comment number 1.

    Good architectural design incorporates the "best value for money" concept.

    Functionality and simplicity usually good hand in hand with aesthetically pleasing design.

    There is no need to engage a high profile architect to obtain a good looking building which meets the client's needs.

    The new complex in Glasgow is a case in point.

    No need to worry BBC. I think you're really on the ball as far as building design is concerned.

  • Comment number 2.

    Isn't it the architectural profession that's got the conflict between art and money the wrong way around?

    We attach value to great art after it is created, not when it is commissioned. The's no value above the raw material in a Hepworth until it's complete. And that value of a work of art is given a monetary value by those who trade the art, not the artist.

    Great architecture (and art) is valued by those who behold it, not those who commission or create it, however much they might spend, or want to be paid.


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