BBC Television Centre, located in the White City area of London (England), is one of the most famous buildings of its kind around the world, but since the broadcaster’s attempts to relocate much of their operations to Salford (England), the venue has been up for alternative purposes and new owners, both of which appear to be happening with new redevelopments to the site.
While the BBC are expected to maintain their presence in some of the buildings (including becoming the new headquarters for the broadcaster’s global commercial arm BBC Worldwide), the centre is mainly being refitted for commercial purpose, with a hotel, cinema, offices, and an apartment complex amongst the new uses that the building will take on.
Working alongside the more notable tenants on the agreement are property developers Stanhope, who claimed that in the revitalised ‘mixed-use facility’, the forecourt of the building (pictured) will be open to public use for the first-ever time.
The main building of the facility, a Grade II-listed circular structure nicknamed ‘the doughnut’, is at the forefront of the plans, turning into a hotel and apartment complex. In addition, the Television Centre’s ‘Stage 4 and 5′ buildings will become office space tailored mainly towards ‘new media or creative business’ tenants, while the ‘East Tower’, ‘Drama Block’, ‘Restaurant Block’, and Car Park will take on a new role of becoming ‘residential buildings’, with over 1,000 units planned. Also proposed for the redevelopments are entertainment facilities such as cinemas and restaurants for new residents.
Stanhope’s CEO David Camp issued a statement on the plans, noting: “The BBC will continue to have a significant presence at Television Centre and we will be bringing new life into the site with new public routes, spaces and uses. We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses whilst keeping and enhancing the famous original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studio and office facilities on site. Television Centre will be a great place to live, work and visit.”
Built on the site of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition, the BBC centre officially opened its doors in 1960, and has since been home to iconic series such as Blue Peter, Fawlty Towers, and Strictly Come Dancing, amongst others, along with much of the corporation’s news output. Building for its new purpose is planned to commence in 2015, but thanks to Top Gear and YouTube, you will always have a chance to take an unorthodox tour of the former unofficial ‘home’ of UK television: