Toilets, Partial disabled access, Full disabled access
The BBC’s previous administrative headquarters. Subtle and radical interventions have refreshed the building, giving it an overall aesthetic uplift and improving functionality for flexible use.
Architect-led tour of whole building at 10.30am
Allies and Morrison,
Architects Allies and Morrison designed the Mediaworks and Garden House buildings in their previous life, for the BBC in the early 2000s as broadcasting facilities, leisure, office and retail space; a third building – Westworks – was designed in 1990 by Scott Brownrigg Turner as the BBC’s administrative headquarters.
Over time, however, the BBC’s original need for this office accommodation in White City shifted as part of the BBC’s strategic relocation of staff to other parts of the country. The site was subsequently acquired by developers Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and Amico to re-purpose the buildings for a diverse group of new occupiers. Of the buildings, the Westworks underwent the most dramatic facelift.
The Westworks: Recycling a building
A series of interventions has improved the building’s functionality, increased lettable space and given an overall aesthetic uplift. The main entrance has been moved to the centre of the west elevation, opening up new routes within and beyond.
Externally, The Westworks is still recognisable from its previous life, but new updates include a cleaning of the existing silver coloured aluminium cladding and the replacement of dark glazing to allow views into and through the building. There is a refreshed central courtyard with a fully-glazed elevation to the reception below and an extended first floor terrace featuring a new cafe pavilion. At high level, a double-height glazed extension has created new floor space from existing balconies.
Internally, a complete strip-out has opened up new workspaces that have an elemental, engineered aesthetic, which benefit from greatly increased ceiling heights and levels of daylight. Communal sharing spaces, a new cafe, lounge and terrace spaces have been designed to facilitate interesting collaborations and relationships between multiple tenants. The Studio, a new venue, cinema and recording facility finished entirely in blue, is designed to host a programme of public talks and events that will provide a cultural amenity to the estate and wider area.
Both outside and inside, the project has illustrated a commitment to re-examining existing buildings, regardless of the era they are from by finding ways to extend their lives by creative intervention, adaption and sustainable re-use.