First look inside the transformed Television Centre in White City

Outside view of Television Centre at night
The Television Centre launches its first phase this April, designed by London architects AHMM. Photography: GG Archard
(Image credit: GG Archard)

‘This is is a trully mixed-use project’, says Television Centre managing director Alistair Shaw. And indeed, the highly anticipated transformation of the iconic White City complex has been one of West London’s most exciting ongoing developments, including everything from the BBC Worldwide base and BBC Studioworks studios, to residential, soho house, offices, and a number of restaurants. This April, the launch of the residential-led mixed use development marks a new chapter in the iconic site’s life.

The site — that used to house the BBC’s headquarters — contains the Grade-II listed Helios building with its original golden statue and round piazza. This was once off limits to the public but now is open and leads through to Hammersmith park at the back. The architects, AHMM, worked on retaining as much of the history and the culture of the place as possible, they explain, however peppering it with new and contemporary elements and spaces. So the instantly recognisable round courtyard has been maintained, white overlooking windows were replaced with exact same but new and improved equivalents. ‘Most of the square still looks as it was the day it was built’, says Paul Monaghan of AHMM.

The common areas include the original, thin and elegant mid-century modern staircase and striking fin walls, adding further character to the residential element – matched by a new lifts core and terrazzo floor that references the original design. The apartments have been cleverly designed with plenty of hidden storage and built in furniture that multi tasks as a space-saving strategy, inspired at the same time by the building’s Fifties architecture. Interiors have been composed by Suzy Hoodless.

The complex also includes retail and leisure facilities, as well as a new 45-bedroom Soho House hotel and gym – the company’s largest ever, nestled underground and accessed via a core in the statue’s plinth. ‘At once a home, a place of work and a true destination, we look forward to welcoming all to Television Centre as it relaunches this April’, adds Haw. 

This is just the first phase in the landmark complex’s grand plans. There’s affordable house by Maccreanor Lavington still to come, as well as more office and residential buildings by firms such as dRMM and Duggan Morris. In the meantime, a slew of dynamic, emerging practices have been enlisted to work on a series of penthouses — designs by Coffey Architects, Piercy and Company, Acher Architects and Haptic are due to be revealed in the summer. Watch this space.

Curved view of Television Centre and tall sculpture to the right

Created in and around the former BBC headquarters in White City, the scheme is one of the few large scale mixed use developments in the heart of London. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Entrance door of building and large white clock on side of wall

The complex includes the iconic Helios building and round courtyard. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Interior design of reception and comfortable seating areas

The piazza, which used to be closed off, is now open to the public and also contains the entrance and lobbies to the refreshed building's residential element. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Living room view from room with drinks on coffee table

The building contains a variety of apartments designed by AHMM with interiors by Suzy Hoodless. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Interior view of pink sofa, large black and white patterned rug and dining table

The space was inspired by the original building's mid-century Modern style. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Bathroom interior of sink and dark blue tiled walls

Built in furniture that multi tasks ensures some clever space saving inside the apartments. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Modern bedroom interior with wooden framed bed, circular glass lamp shade and photo frame on wall

Television Centre is a joint venture development between Mitsui Fudosan, AIMCo and Stanhope. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

White kitchen interior with bar and black bar stools

Television Centre’s homes sit in the existing circular Grade-II listed Helios building. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

Empty glasses on tray at the end of the bed to left, drinks on coffee table in living room on right

While referencing their 1950s heritage, the apartments have been fitted to suit 21st century living. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

White staircase with dark wooden handrail

A restored, original staircase forms part of the residential building, as a nod to the complex's iconic heritage. Photography: GG Archard

(Image credit: GG Archard)

INFORMATION

For more information visit the website of AHMM

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).