Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Planning application details for Television Centre on show

The proposed look

Developers Stanhope and the BBC have today launched their detailed plans to open up and transform Television Centre into a mixed use development including office and studio space for the BBC, complementary entertainment and leisure facilities, public open space, offices, housing and a hotel.

For the first time, Television Centre will be opened up to the public and the famous forecourt remodelled and enlivened by new retail, leisure and entertainment uses together with access through the site providing connectivity with the local area, including Hammersmith Park. The BBC will continue to have a significant presence at Television Centre: BBC Studios and Post Production will return in 2015 to operate three state-of-the-art studios to serve television production in the South East in addition to their studios at Elstree, and provide new and enhanced facilities for BBC audiences, talent and production staff; and from 2014, BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial operation, will move into a public-facing corporate headquarters, following refurbishment of Stage 6.

The remaining office space will be aimed at occupiers in the creative sector providing new employment opportunities and there will be a variety of public uses, including a cinema, health club, restaurants and cafes, which will benefit the local community. The much-loved listed buildings at Television Centre will be retained. As part of opening up the site, the audience experience will be greatly enhanced, with new facilities - there are a number of emerging ideas about exactly what this audience experience might be, but nothing has yet been finalised. Stanhope and the BBC have established a joint venture company, TVC Developments Ltd, to deliver the project, to identify further BBC legacy opportunities going forward and to integrate the proposals into the wider White City Opportunity Area.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said:
“Stanhope is working in partnership with the BBC to deliver a publicly accessible mixed use remodelling of these iconic buildings and redevelopment of the adjoining land. 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 studios and office facilities on site. Television Centre will be a great place to live, work and visit.”
Dominic Coles, BBC Director of Operations, said:
“We are very excited to be working in this unique partnership with Stanhope to redevelop Television Centre into a truly public space that builds on its history, protects its place in the local community and greatly improves the audience and visitor experience, with better facilities and attractions for those coming to see shows recorded in its iconic studios from 2015. This development will not only deliver a legacy befitting a site of such historical significance but also is part of a BBC property strategy which is maximising value for money for the licence fee payer and releasing fresh funding for programming making.”
So what, exactly, is new? Here's a full and very detailed run down, for which I am grateful to the PR people on the project: 
  • Plot A - The current ‘Stages 4 and 5’ buildings will be remodelled and refurbished to provide retail, leisure and office space, called The Television Factory it will be a new creative hub for businesses in the area that will house up to 3,000 people. The listed buildings and the remodelled forecourt, frontage and elevation of Television Centre from Wood Lane will be retained. It is intended that the location and continued presence of the BBC will attract creative and media companies to Television Centre. The Forecourt will be remodelled as a large space predominantly hard landscaped for pedestrians, it is envisaged that a range of activities can take place including events such as filming, farmers markets and occasional concerts.
  • Plot B - The ‘Inner Ring’ of Television Centre will be sensitively refurbished to provide space for a boutique hotel and a series of residential apartments. Helios Plaza, at the heart of Television Centre will be sensitively remodelled to enhance the setting of the Helios Sculpture and fountain by TB Huxley Jones. A new concentric courtyard will be shared with Plot C (the ‘Crescent’).
  • Plot C – The ‘Crescent’ will accommodate five clusters of dwellings in ‘mansion block’ style buildings looking over Hammersmith Park or the new courtyard. The height of Plot C is kept to a lower level than the height of the ‘Inner Ring’ to give the existing prominence over the new.
  • Plot D – The existing ‘Restaurant Block’ will be replaced with a new residential scheme designed by Duggan Morris. The intention is that this building will hold the northern frontage facing on to Hammersmith Park, and will respond to the scale of the ‘Crescent’.
  • Plot E – The sequence of buildings that replace the ‘Drama Block’ will enclose a central courtyard and are designed to maximise the amount of dual aspect accommodation. The building tiers down in scale in order to maximise opportunities for sun and daylight to penetrate into the central space. It also responds to the scale of the neighbouring streets and creates a ‘book end’ frontage to Hammersmith Park, at a similar scale to the new crescent building.
  • Plot F – two rows of town houses are located to the south of the site around a ‘Village Green’. These dwellings provide family accommodation with private rear gardens. The scale and form of these buildings aim to complement that of the houses which back onto the site from Frithville Gardens.
  • Plot G – The scheme proposes the demolition of the existing ‘East Tower’ so it can be replaced with a more slender and appropriately sited building. The footprint of this building is split into two elements which step up in height from the ‘Drama Block’ towards Wood Lane. The tower sits closer to Wood Lane to engage the building with the wider urban context. This provides an urban marker, mirroring that of the masterplan for the extension to Westfield. This building is curved in plan which responds to the concentric layout of the site also allows the route adjacent to the viaduct to be opened up.
  • Plot H – The building on Plot H replaces the existing Multi Storey Car Park on Wood Lane and is designed by Maccreanor Lavington. The buildings step up from the scale of houses in Macfarlane Road and re-introduces Macfarlane Place as a pedestrian route connecting through the open viaduct arch to the remainder of the masterplan. Plot J - ‘Studios 1-3’ will be refitted as ‘state of the art’ studio space and will continue to be operated by BBC Studios and Post Production (S&PP). The opening up of the site enables the audience and ‘talent’ experience to be greatly enhanced.
  • BBC Worldwide will be housed in a new headquarters in a refurbishment of the ‘Stage 6’ building fronting Wood Lane, with the internal works designed by HOK.
  • There will be approximately 1,000 new residential units and townhouses in total, including affordable housing and c 575 car parking spaces. All the housing will benefit from access to new open spaces and courtyards in the development as well as access to Hammersmith Park.
  • New built residences will have the use of terraces at ground floor levels and balconies, winter gardens or roof gardens at upper levels.
  • The new public realm reinvents the existing forecourt and Helios Plaza as attractive public spaces, which gives an address on to Wood Lane and provide a backdrop for varied activities.
  • The masterplan respects the existing massing of the Television Centre building; it builds a new tower to replace the existing tower and places housing to address boundaries with existing low rise residential areas and the park.
  • RIBA award winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is Stanhope’s lead architect on the project, supported by Maccreanor Lavington and Duggan Morris.
  • The commercial accommodation will achieve an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating and the residential accommodation will achieve Code for Sustainable Homes ‘level 4’. The masterplan embraces a holistic and site-wide approach to sustainability.
The Television Centre site is 14 acres and was the former site of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition. It officially opened in June 1960 and was designed by the architects Norman and Dawbarn and appears to be like a question mark in shape. The central ‘ inner ring’ of the building and the front flank of Studio 1 are Grade II listed as special interest and these listed elements of Television Centre will be retained and enhanced, including the instantly recognisable exterior view. 

The site has been expanded over the last 60 years and there is currently 1.6m sq ft of existing buildings dating from the 1950s-1990s, and operates as one building from a services point of view. The site is designated for employment, media/creative and residential uses in the GLA’s White City Opportunity Area Planning Framework which also envisaged the opening up of the site. The uses identified for Television Centre will complement the other regeneration sites in the White City Area.

Stanhope and the BBC will be holding a public exhibition on the plans at:

Reception BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, W12
  • 24 April 2013 17.00 – 20.00
  • 25 April 2013 14.00 – 20.00
  • 27 April 2013 10.00 – 16.00


  1. I quite like these development plans, although there is a little too much housing to be accomodated.
    As a new resident of Shepherds Bush, I feel there isn't enough restaurents and bars in the area.
    I worked in the East Tower, with BBC Childrens and i will be sad to see it go.
    I will go and check out the plans tonight in Wood Lane..

    On another note, I was so pleased to see people sitting on the grass of the Shepherds Bush green on the week-end! Such a nice change. When are they going to finish the works?

  2. They will finish the works several months ago.

  3. Went to see the plans. I guess you would expect them to show the proposals off to their advantage, but I was still impressed. The better bits - the doughnut and forecourt - are to be retained, with the grotty multi-storey carpark and tower block to be replaced. I also like the public being able to walk straight through from Wood Lane to Hammersmith Park. There is a 'possibility' of an arts cinema, which would be great if it actually happens.

    I would agree with Mu that there is a lot of housing proposed.