First look inside the transformed Television Centre in White City
‘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.