MacCormac Jamieson Prichard has scooped the illustrious multi-million pound project to rework the BBC's Broadcasting House building and create new facilities to its rear.And the AJ understands - from a source close to the project - that part of the brief is a centralised news operation which will run TV services from the Portland Place icon.
MJP beat four other firms, believed to be Stanton Williams, Eric Parry Architects, Alsop & Stormer and Fletcher Priest, in a competitive interview which will lead to the BBC getting new facilities by 2006. A BBC spokeswoman told the AJ the job will involve improving accessibility of the main Grade II*-listed Broadcasting House building for the public and demolishing and rebuilding two other adjoining office buildings - Egton House and 16 Langham Street.
MJP had been chosen, she said, because the practice had a 'real appreciation and sympathy for the architecturally unusual area' and because of its understanding of the BBC's unique business needs. BBC director of finance, property and business affairs, John Smith said he believed MJP could rise to the 'tough brief ' and create 'a twenty-first century BBC in a historic setting.'
The new-look premises will be built in partnership with one of five consortia the BBC will choose in February, in a move akin to the government's Private Finance Initiatives. The five are: 2020 Insight - including Trillium and Land Securities; Cornice Properties including London & Regional and Morgan Stanley Real Estate; the Foresight Consortium, including Amey Ventures, Barclays Private Equity and Arrowcroft; MBL Vision, including Mapeley and British Land; and Promedia, including Carillion, BT, and Marylebone Warwick Balfour Group.