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FCBS bags Alexandra Palace refurb job

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been appointed to refurbish the historic BBC studios and Victorian theatre at North London’s Alexandra Palace

The project which is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will see the 1873 building’s existing spaces refurbished and refitted to create a ‘state of the art cultural space’.

The historic BBC studios, which were the site of the world’s first high definition public television broadcast in 1936, will be transformed into an interactive education centre.

The plans form part of Terry Farrell Architects’ masterplan for the iconic structure, which alongside the restoration of the Victorian Theatre and the opening up of the BBC studios also include a new hotel.

The hilltop red brick structure features a broadcast antenna and is currently used as an exhibition centre, music venue and conference centre.

Andy Theobald, lead architect on the project at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said: ‘Our great challenge is to reinterpret and sympathetically bring together the Palace’s Victorian ideal of mass entertainment and make it relevant for users for the next 100 years.

‘We are convinced that the only way to do this is through using modern technology, audience participation and a future-facing programme of events which welcome people from all communities to enjoy this wonderful place.’

Matt Cooke, chair of the Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust said: ‘In the coming few years Alexandra Palace will become the site of one of the most exciting heritage projects in Europe.

‘When completed, these new facilities will also allow for the growth of Alexandra Palace’s very successful events programme into new areas, making Alexandra Palace of even greater significance for Haringey’s and London’s cultural offer.’

Duncan Wilson, chief executive for Alexandra Palace added: ‘FCBS’s track record in delivering innovative and sustainable designs in a historic context is exciting and I am very much looking forward to working with them to realise our vision for the revival of Alexandra Palace’s Victorian theatre and the television studios which first broadcast to the public back in 1936.’

Designed by architect John Johnson with civil engineer Alfred Meeson, the grade II-listed Italianate building opened as a recreation, education and entertainment venue in 1873.

Previous story (AJ 18.05.12)

Farrell reveals Ally Pally plans

[FIRST LOOK] Terry Farrell + Partners has unveiled its masterplan for the transformation of London’s iconic Alexandra Palace

The regeneration plans which started public consultation this week set out a vision for the 1873 building’s transformation into a new hub for culture, community events, learning and recreation.

Plans for the Grade II-listed building include restoration of the Victorian theatre, a new hotel and the opening up of Ally Pally’s BBC television studios.

Improvements to public realm and restoration of the structure’s basement have also been proposed. Donald Insall Associates is working on the building’s conservation.

Alexandra Park & Palace Charitable Trust chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘In much the same way as the South Bank has carved a cultural niche for itself in London over the last few years, we have a vision to create a vibrant cultural and recreational People’s Palace north of the river.

Previous story (21.03.12)

Farrell snaps up ‘Ally Pally’ masterplan job

Terry Farrell and Partners has been appointed to masterplan the long-term regeneration of north London’s famous Alexandra Palace

The west London-based practice will initially deliver a strategic spatial masterplan for the Grade II-listed Italianate building which was wrecked by fire in 1980 and was later earmarked for a failed, mixed-use redevelopment by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson in 2006.

Designed by architect John Johnson with civil engineer Alfred Meeson, the 1873 building opened as a recreation, education and entertainment venue and is part-way through a £320,000 English Heritage-funded restoration which started last year.

The iconic, hilltop red brick structure features a broadcast antenna and is currently used as an exhibition centre, music venue and conference centre and hosted gigs by Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead and The Stone Roses in the past.

Farrells with WSP was appointed by building owner Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust to masterplan the site’s regeneration following a competitive tendering process and will exhibit its designs to the public in May.

Terry Farrell said: ‘It is amazing to think that 30 years after designing the temporary pavilion there, my practice now has the opportunity to shape the future, which we believe will be a very exciting one.’

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust chief executive Duncan Wilson added: ‘We are delighted to be working with Terry Farrell & Partners and look forward to them interpreting our vision for Alexandra Palace by creating imaginative and practical design concepts for this historic place.’

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson’s £55 million mixed-use scheme to redevelop the site as a hotel, casino, cinema and exhibition centre leisure complex for developer Firoka was shot down following a high court appeal in 2010.

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