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The redevelopment of the BBC’s iconic Television Centre in White City has helped transformed this part of West London. The new development features new homes, restaurants, a cinema, hotel, Soho Members club, House Gym, television studios and 500,000 sq ft of Grade A office space. In this blog we explore the origins of White City and Television Centre and look at why so many new businesses, including The White Company, have chosen to make Television Centre their new home.
The origins of ‘White City’ date back to 1908 and the Franco-British Exhibition. This large public fair featured intricate white buildings and waterways and celebrated the signing of the Entente Cordiale. Hence, the name White City was born…
White City was also host to London’s first Olympic Games in 1908 following the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. The standard length for a marathon was set at White City and the finishing line can still be found marked out at White City Place.
Later, the area became home to Lime Grove Studios which had a ramshackle collection of film studios before the BBC bought it in 1949 and Graham Dawbarn created the vision and design for the BBC Television Centre which took 12 years to construct before it was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1961. Over the following 50 years, classic BBC programmes sprung from Television Centre including Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who, Blue Peter, Absolutely Fabulous and Top of the Tops.
Following the sale of Television Centre to property developer Stanhope plc in 2012 for around £200m, the BBC began to move out although BBC Studios and Post Productions and BBC Worldwide remain to this day. Three of the old BBC studios have been kept and returned to use, helping to keep a BBC heart in White City and ensuring studio audiences can still flock to the area for top quality broadcasting.
In total, 500,000 sq ft of new Grade A office space will be available at 2 Television Centre and 1 Wood Crescent. We recently completed the new office for The White Company in 2 Television Centre and found plenty of inspiration from the building and local area to help us create their stunning new home. The other significant business there is Publicis Media, meaning there is only limited office space still remaining.
2 Television Centre was designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects AHMM and contains 280,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation over 9 large and open floors. Firstly, 2 Television Centre has good green credentials to attract environmentally-conscious businesses. The building has a BREEAM excellent rating and includes 300 bicycle spaces and lockers, 30 showers, LED lights and plenty of natural light flooding in to the space.
The reception and atrium at the centre of building creates a sense of space filled with natural light and the staggered connecting bridges on each floor make a bold statement and striking vision from every floor. Thanks to the elegant architectural, you can’t help but be inspired when you’re designing a new office interior!
Following Cat A fit-out works, 2 Television Centre also boasts exceptional technical infrastructure connected to the Tier 1 data centre communication providers providing super fast networks. As it’s all brand new, it’s scalable and offers excellent flexibility to evolving technology and needs.
The ground floor of 2 Television Centre provides a wealth of food and beverage places, from a quick morning coffee or a lunch time meeting, to evening drinks and a film. For the health conscious, there is White City House, from Soho House, which include a public health club, known as House Gym, a rooftop swimming pool, yoga and dance studio. There is also accommodation of 45 bedrooms and an arthouse cinema called The Electric.