WHAT architecture - London

BBC Scotland

office space and television studios
Scale21000 sqm
LocationGlasgow - UK
ClientBBC Scotland
Design Year2001

In the former ship building area near by the city of Glasgow, at the south bank of the river Clyde on the Pacific quay, a new headquarters for BBC Scotland is to be realised. The commission was to design a building that can function as a first step in the creation of a densely populated, energetic media city at this spot. In the near future his media city will locate offices and facilities of different kinds of product companies.


The design shows a concept for the working place of the future. The idea is that a comfortable and inspiring work environment for employees is the basis for a successful and productive company. The new headquarters will have to encourage the contact between the employees in the different departments that provide material for broadcasting on television, radio and the internet. The building is also made well accessible for visitors, without affecting the privacy and safety of the employees. The building is not only a nice place to work but also an example of future proof urban architecture by using advanced environmental technologies.


The backbone of the building is a three store high internal street that goes from the main entrance at the western facade to the eastern glass wall at the riverside. Its function is two sided. Firstly the street provides the offices that are situated deeply into the building with daylight. Secondly this street is the main opening for all other functions in the building. Because of this the street is the main meeting place. One has to cross this space in order to collect the post, copy documents or in order to have a lunch at the roof pavilion.


The large roof pavilion also has a public function where the restaurant and the BBC club can be found. They are placed besides a long stretched roof garden, where employees and guests can enjoy the spectacular panoramic sights on both sides of the river. On the same level two large conference rooms with sliding and folding partitions are located. In case of an interview these spaces can be transformed from small intimate places into large panoramic environments within seconds.


The eastern facade of the building is situated at the public square and the boulevard along the Clyde. With the use of a completely transparent facade visitors of the scientific center and the Imax Theater, both situated at the same square, and also pedestrians from both sides of the river have a view of the sports studio and the enormous production studio, full of extras and TV-stars.


The technical facilities are divided among three large, vertical objects at the south side of the building. Employers that don’t use these facilities have their office at the North side with a beautiful view of the river and the quay.