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BskyB campus shake-up as AL_A off job

New jobs could be up for grabs on BSkyB’s Osterley campus redevelopment after Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) lost its overall grip on the project

The practice’s involvement with the 5.3ha regeneration scheme is expected to end when contractor Mace starts construction of an AL_A-designed 42,000m² office block on the site shortly.

The move follows BskyB’s appointment of Olympic and Paralympic Village project director John Nicholson to head up its in-house project team.

AL_A was appointed to masterplan the broadcaster’s headquarters in March 2011 and won detailed planning for the block and outline consent for the wider overhaul late last year. While a meeting centre designed by AL_A started on site last year, new projects on the ambitious overhaul are expected to go to other practices.

It is understood dRMM, PLP and Arup Associates have already been lined up for work on the scheme.

Amanda Levete, who has designed a yacht for former BskyB chairman James Murdoch, said: ‘[We were ] asked by Sky to develop a vision for a new Campus that reflects the workings of the organisation and is connected by the assets that drive the business forward: creativity and people.

‘We worked closely with them to develop a vision that found the equilibrium between collective endeavour and the expression of the creative individual.

‘The resulting flexible campus framework and the first buildings we have designed meet the needs of this way of working and will support the growth of the business for the future. At over 13 hectares this was largest commercial development in London to receive planning permission last year, and will define a new model for this industry’s future’.

Previous story (AJ 22.07.11)

Amanda Levete job for Murdoch ‘safe’

A top secret proposal by Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) for BSkyB will not be derailed by the controversy surrounding its non-executive chairman James Murdoch or the collapsed BSkyB takeover by News Corporation

It is understood AL_A was appointed in March to look at further developments around the recently completed Arup Associates-designed £233 million Harlequin 1 broadcasting centre (pictured bottom) at Sky’s headquarters in Osterley, west London, where the company has been based since 1989.

Levete has previously designed a yacht for Murdoch and has also drawn up plans for a new Wapping headquarters for News International, the Murdochs’ UK newspaper arm.

Despite calls for Murdoch to resign from his position as a result of the phone-hacking scandal, insiders at Sky say the AL_A designs will continue and insist the standalone proposals for the company’s growth were always independent of any potential acquisition (BSkyB bid dropped amid ‘firestorm’) .

A Sky spokesperson: ‘We are in discussions with the London Borough of Hounslow about provisional plans to further redevelop Sky’s main campus in west London. At this stage we are assessing feasibility and no formal applications have yet been submitted.’

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