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Revealed: Haworth Tompkins to partner Ole Scheeren on new BFI headquarters

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Stirling Prize-winner Haworth Tompkins is working with former OMA star Ole Scheeren on the British Film Institute’s (BFI) new £130m headquarters building on London’s South Bank, the AJ can reveal

It is understood Haworth Tompkins is part of the Thai property team, headed by Bangkok-based Pace Development, which was chosen last month by the BFI as its preferred bidder to fund, design and construct the project.

The scheme, which is scheduled to open in 2022 and forms part of the wider Jubilee Gardens development on the Thames riverside in central London, will be Scheeren’s first in the UK.

The BFI has planned to build a new home on the site of the Hungerford car park for nearly a decade, but has so far been unable to secure funding for the scheme. 

In October 2009, the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, pledged £45 million to the BFI to build a centre on the site of the Hungerford car park. However, the then culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, removed the funding in 2010 as part of deficit reduction measures.

Pace Developments has since offered to provide £87 million for the project, as well as providing full design, build and partial fit-out. In return, it is understood, the company will receive full naming rights for the building, exclusivity of food and beverage sales in the venue, and partial repayment of the funding over a period of time.

It is believed famous New York-based food brand Dean & DeLuca is also working on the bid. Scheeren, whose Interlace housing scheme in Singapore was named World Building of the Year at the 2015 World Architecture Festival, has worked with Dean & DeLuca previously on a fast food concept, a prototype of which was showcased at Design Miami 2016.

Last May it emerged that the British Film Institute had received an £87 million funding proposal from a mystery investor to support the South Bank project. 

At the time the BFI said the potential investor could not be named because of laws around public procurement and the fact that there could be another investor. But, according to recent OJEU documentation, the Pace Developments bid is the only one currently being considered by the BFI.

The development of the institute’s new home would be the first foray into the UK market for Pace Development. The luxury property and hospitality developer is one of the biggest in Thailand, and is currently developing the £408 million Mahanakorn in Bangkok, the country’s largest tower – and also designed by Scheeren. The company has begun to expand globally over the past few years, with projects in Japan and the USA.

Haworth Tompkins won the Stirling Prize in 2014 with its Everyman Theatre project in Liverpool (pictured below).

The BFI and Haworth Tompkins declined to comment on the South Bank project.

Everyman Theatre

Everyman Theatre

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