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FIRST LOOK

BBC Wales moves into Sheppard Robson-designed broadcast facility

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The new 26,000m² broadcast centre and HQ, which accommodates 1,000 production and support staff, is housed in a building designed by Foster + Partners

The scope of the project to create a 21st Century digital broadcasting environment necessitated the development of an internal masterplan to address the complexity and technical demands of the spaces required. 

This was developed by ID:SR, the internal design arm of Sheppard Robson, together with BBC Workplace, and sees the building divided into functional zones.

The main entrance is on the south side, facing Cardiff Central Railway Station, with the headquarters given a civic presence through a ‘street’-type atrium, open to the public, which runs through the centre of the building at ground level.

From this, the broadcast production facilities can be observed, with prominently coloured ‘pixel’ blocks animating and defining the structure of the surrounding spaces.

The east side of the building contains the central support space, with desks arranged along the exterior perimeter or the edge of the central atrium, while on the west side the main content production space is located, with studios housed in a hub between. 

Bbc wales credit jack hobhouse (6)

Bbc wales credit jack hobhouse (6)

Architect’s view

The broadcast centre in Cardiff grew from a creative partnership between the BBC Workplace team and ID:SR.

This journey started by evaluating the Llandaff property and, after an informed decision was made to move, it continued, with us collaborating on the brief and building selection.

Only then could the remarkable spaces you see today start to take shape, with the building—and its extraordinary technical ‘hot and heavy’ demands—being designed from the inside out.

Helen Berresford, head of ID:SR, Sheppard Robson

Bbc wales credit jack hobhouse (1)

Bbc wales credit jack hobhouse (1)

Client’s view

The project successfully balances pragmatism and efficiency with a drive to create a very special broadcasting facility and a world class workplace for BBC Wales.

The regeneration of a pivotal site in the heart of Cardiff is the setting for this transformational project. It forges close connections between broadcasting and the public, sets new standards for innovative flexible and cost-effective workplaces, and creates a new home for the BBC that is built specifically for the digital world.

The themes and issues that the project embraces – from neurodiversity and inclusivity, to agility and efficiency – have been conceived to raise the benchmark not just for the BBC, but also across the property industry. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved, with the quality of the spaces and places we have delivered.

This was achieved as a direct result of a collaborative spirit and pursuit of excellence by the developer, client, professional teams and contractors which defined this project.

Alan Bainbridge, director of workplace, BBC

Bbcw idsr 00 press

Bbcw idsr 00 press

Source: Sheppard Robson

Ground floor plan

Project data

Total project cost £100 million (reported by the NAO in May 2016)
Start on site of fit out April 2018
Fit out completion date Jan 2019 for phase 1, August 2019 for phase 2 works
Gross internal floor area 26,000m²
Procurement Competitive tender and lump sum (for fit out)
Interior designer ID:SR Sheppard Robson
Strategic workplace and broadcast studio designers ID:SR Sheppard Robson
Fit out contractor Overbury
Client BBC Workplace/BBC Cymru Wales
Project manager J4 Projects
Structural engineer Arup
M&E consultant CMB Engineering and Evans Electrical
Engineer AECOM
QS Currie & Brown
Other consultants Drac Consulting,
Acoustic consultant Ion Acoustics
CDM co-ordinator Aecom
Approved building inspector Cardiff City Council
Base build architect Foster + Partners
Base-build contractor ISG
Developer Rightacres

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