BBC Headquarters Cardiff
Text by Foster + Partners
New BBC Wales headquarters moves closer to completion
The new BBC Wales building in Cardiff has officially been handed over to the corporation. Commissioned by Rightacres Property, the building, designed by Foster + Partners is adjacent to Cardiff Central train station and will be home to some 1200 staff.
Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners said: “Working on this project has been a truly collaborative effort. The design of the building is inspired by its unique location and the institutional heritage of the BBC, to create a distinctive icon that the people of Cardiff can be proud of. A progressive, state-of-the-art workplace for the BBC, it also forms the central focus for the regeneration of this urban quarter, and we look forward to its full opening next year.”
It brings together a wide variety of functions such as studios, administration and support spaces in a single building, which is open to the city, highly flexible, energy efficient and provides a creative, collaborative and inspiring workplace for staff.
Designed to be open and welcoming, visitors enter via a full-height atrium with views up to the working spaces above, as well as into a new café facing the square. The design also establishes a sense of openness and transparency between different departments to create new opportunities for collaboration and interaction. The heart of the headquarters is a 4,000-square-metre ‘hub’, which extends across three linked levels and incorporates studios, offices and production facilities. The scheme includes a sheltered garden on the roof of the hub, which is connected to a restaurant and provides a unique venue for filming, as well as a valuable social amenity for staff.
The project targets BREEAM ‘outstanding’ environmental accreditation with strategies such as chilled beams, locally sourced and recycled materials and an efficient envelope. Mechanical systems have been carefully integrated to create a highly flexible interior, which can anticipate and respond to changing technologies.
With ‘next generation’ web technology, the new broadcast centre is key to the Central Square regeneration project and will be the first BBC facility in the UK to use live IP Technology. Overbury and Sheppard and Robson will now begin an 18-month fit-out process for live broadcasting.
BBC Director of Property, Alan Bainbridge said: “To hand a building over of this scale and complexity exactly on time and budget is a real achievement. We signed the agreement for lease back in December 2014 and the predicted handover date was today – it has been a fantastic effort by all parties and we now look forward to completing the fit-out ready for occupation next year.”
Chief Executive of Rightacres, Paul McCarthy added: “The completion of the new BBC Cymru Wales headquarters is testament to the successful partnership between ourselves as developer, BBC Workplace, Cardiff Council and Legal & General. It marks an important milestone in the development of Central Square and has been a team effort from start to finish.”
Foster + Partners also produced the master plan for Central Square, a 1.5 million sq ft mixed use regeneration scheme and also designed Two Central Square which is currently under construction. The whole building has been pre-let to Hugh James Solicitors and Cardiff University’s School of Journalism.