BBC's TV Centre opens to the public

Thanks to an upgrade by Gillespies last year, London’s iconic BBC Television Centre is open to the public for the first time in the landmark’s history.

The truly mixed-use development features office and studio space for the BBC, entertainment and leisure facilities, new homes and private residential gardens, a boutique hotel, and a public realm.

Some of the award winning spaces at the BBC TV centre in London are open to the public.

Some of the award winning spaces at the BBC TV centre in London are open to the public.

Gillespies’ creation of a network of interconnected external spaces won them both a 2019 RIBA National and Regional Award. They argue their design, “shows how powerful landscape architecture can be in transforming urban space; enhancing city living through access to beautiful spaces and nature.”

This is the first time the area has been open to the public.

This is the first time the area has been open to the public.

The forecourt, a modern interpretation of a London Garden Square, is the main entrance and primary public space of the Television Centre. Offering a welcoming plaza that facilitates pedestrian movement across the site, it includes active perimeters, walkways, seating, trees and planting, as well as pockets of green space. One broad terrace has vibrantly planted borders, while another serves as a retail terrace, with views into the forecourt and across the Studio One façade.

A new public walkway leads through the forecourt and up to Helios Plaza, a circular courtyard that forms the inner ring of the Television Centre. It has had its iconic 10-foot bronze Helios statue reinstated, and while its original simplicity has been maintained, the character of the garden surrounding the fountain has been softened, with planting focused on shade-tolerant shrubs and herbaceous species.

A new public walkway leads through the forecourt and up to Helios Plaza, a circular courtyard that forms the inner ring of the Television Centre. It has had its iconic 10-foot bronze Helios statue reinstated, and while its original simplicity has been maintained, the character of the garden surrounding the fountain has been softened, with planting focused on shade-tolerant shrubs and herbaceous species.

Meanwhile, an oasis for residents has been created in a private landscaped courtyard between the Helios Plaza and Crescent Building. Vibrantly planted with flora that changes seasonally, the landscape’s curvature was inspired by the waves of information transmitted by the Television Centre. .

Multi-stem trees and richly planted areas separate the private terraces from communal spaces, and informal seating is also abundant.

Multi-stem trees and richly planted areas separate the private terraces from communal spaces, and informal seating is also abundant.

The tree-lined streetscape of Crescent Boulevard creates public connection and serves the residential buildings along its length.

Gillespies partner Stephen Richards says that, “there can be few places that are held in such warmth and affection by the nation, and, as a team, we were therefore mindful from the start of our responsibility to handle this site with care. Yet this is a project about new beginnings, and much of our work has been to create and shape external spaces within the historic fabric that will engage with the people who will now call this place home.”

The truly mixed-use development features office and studio space for the BBC, entertainment and leisure facilities, new homes and private residential gardens and a hotel as well as public spaces.

The truly mixed-use development features office and studio space for the BBC, entertainment and leisure facilities, new homes and private residential gardens and a hotel as well as public spaces.