Major redevelopment work is underway at the BBC's most famous building, Broadcasting House in the heart of London.
restoring our original home and expanding it to create the largest
live broadcast centre ever" - BBC
Director-General, Mark Thompson
W1 centre will be a dynamic new home for all the BBC's national
radio networks, as well as a focus for the BBC's national and international
news operations, bringing the World Service and the domestic news
service together in one venue for the first time.
new building will host one of the world's largest live newsrooms.
At any one time, over 10 million people across the UK will watch or listen
to output from the new W1 centre, and every week at least 150 million
people worldwide will tune into the World Service.
The project is planned in two phases: the first phase is the refurbishment of
the old Broadcasting House, which has just been completed.
Live broadcasting begins in Summer 2006.
Work on phase two, the creation of a new combined news centre, has already
begun. The whole project will reach completion in 2010.
Radio 2 has already re-occupied a refurbished Western House and began
broadcasting from it recently. Listeners rang into the station to
say that the sound was better!
The aims of the project:
- To contribute
a major new landmark building in central London
- To create
a flexible building of real architectural merit, for the BBC's role
in a digital age and to provide state-of-the-art facilities for BBC
- To integrate
national and international BBC journalism into one combined news
- To develop
open, flexible and creative workspaces for BBC staff in News, Radio & Music
and World Service.
- To enhance
public access for the BBC's audiences and visitors, including a public
piazza, radio theatre, new BBC shop and café, and a new exhibition/interactive
- To help
to rationalise the BBC's property strategy in London into three main
centres: Broadcasting House, Media Village and Television Centre
in West London.
The new building
The new building will contain six television studios and 140 acoustic spaces,
as well as specially conceived zones for creative discussion and interaction.
features will include: huge atria, glass facades and state-of-the-art
air conditioning which will make it a comfortable and light working
environment; food outlets and break-out areas located across the
complex; glass lifts and wide, spacious walkways to aid passage through
and around the building.
The BBC's traditional radio centre is now transformed into a new tapeless environment.
first time, programmes are digital from start to finish in the production
process and BBC audio content can be re-versioned for changing and different
audiences: for broadcasting, podcasting and beyond.
There will be 27 new, acoustically improved studio spaces located inside the
rebuilt 'studio tower', completely resistant to tube noise and disturbance – creating
a better listening experience for audiences.
There will be more flexibility in the use of space by transforming the dark cellular
offices of the past into open plan workspaces. Creative links will be nurtured
by the close proximity of production teams to studios.
More space (four storeys) will be created at the top of building, following the
demolition of the previous sloping roof.
around the building will be enhanced via innovative use of colour
and there will be increased resilience and efficiency by dual power
supplies and cooling.
New W1 public space
This new development aims to enhance the northern corner of Oxford Street, positioned
at the crossroads between the commercial centre of Regent Street and Oxford Street,
the media and fashion zone of Soho, and the academic environment of the Great
Portland Street complex of roads.
Within the W1 centre, there will also be genuinely public spaces – providing
performance zones, cafés, exhibition/art installations, a children's media workshop
and space for general interaction.
For the first time, the BBC in central London will have a public face accessible
to all – where broadcaster and audience can meet directly.
There is a genuine desire with this project to create a building of major architectural
and artistic vision.
Using a combination of glass and Portland stone, the building will echo the original
Broadcasting House and is also sympathetic to John Nash's All Souls Church which
All restoration work is being done in partnership with English Heritage. Original
interiors will be painstakingly restored including oak panelling, statues, plaster
friezes, mosaic flooring etc.
façade and statues will be cleaned
but will maintain an appropriate patina of age. Each heritage space will
be reinvented for appropriate contemporary use, so that it stays
part of the ongoing life of the building.
This project will also be supported by innovative public art commissions – across
painting, sculpture, lighting, video and audio.
- The architects will have produced an estimated 10,000 drawings by the end of
tonnes of debris will be removed from the site
17,000 lorry loads of rubbish will be taken from BH
excavation, work will be taking place 4 metres from the Victoria
will be six new studios for television news
- The new
News studio will be one of the largest live newsrooms in the world
will be 140 acoustic spaces for Radio & Music, News and World Service
will be 10,000 miles of cabling in the new building