Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’s Television Centre has taken top honours in the Mixed-Use Project of the Year category at the 2018 AJ Architecture Awards
Designed by Graham Dawbarn and operational by 1960, BBC Television Centre was one of the most technically advanced production hubs in the world and the first purpose-built TV studio in the UK.
In 2011, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris was part of a team which won the bid to purchase the site and pledged to preserve and celebrate key features of the complex, including the circular, mosaic-lined Helios Courtyard and the original stage door.
Today, thanks to a major redevelopment, which also included other leading architects, Television Centre is a mix of new-build and refurbished elements boasting uses including housing, restaurants and cafés, a three-screen cinema, a club with a roof-top pool, and television production facilities. The look of the project remains faithful to the original, with indoor bespoke tiles responding to the graphic design of the 1950s and 60s and metalwork which references the retained south stair.
Judges said they would have liked to have seen a greater number of genuinely mixed-use schemes in this category. However, they described the redeveloped Television Centre as a ‘truly mixed-use scheme done really well’ and a place packed with imaginative, lively and beautiful spaces. One said: ‘It’s a mega-structure with an amazing array of uses. When the BBC ran it, the site was completely inaccessible and the architects faced big logistical challenges. They have turned it into a place which really feels like a piece of city.’
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