BBC seeks interiors group for London HQ

The BBC is on the hunt for an interior design consultancy to create a ‘radical’ workplace for its news, radio and TV teams, as part of the redevelopment of Broadcasting House in central London.

The first phase of the development started in 2006, and the second phase, which will begin next year, will create state-of-the-art TV and radio studios, production desks and multimedia facilities, as well as workspace set over 45 000m2 for the BBC’s news, radio, music and World Service teams. There is an anticipated requirement for more than 3000 workstations and ‘work settings’, according to a public tender notice.

Under the terms of the contract, worth up to £500 000, the chosen designer will develop ‘open, flexible and creative workspaces’ for BBC staff, according to a spokeswoman for BBC Workplace. The design should ‘encourage a creative, flexible and agile workforce’, and will ‘win the confidence of stakeholders for radical change’, she says.

All work on the project, which will commence after next April and complete in 2010, will be done in conjunction with BBC Workplace to ensure consistency with the BBC’s Salford development, Project North.

The number of consultancies expected to pitch has been specified as between five and eight. ‘While we want to ensure that they have the right level of resources, we’re looking for innovation and a fresh approach to help us reach our objectives,’ says the spokeswoman.

The aim of the development is to contribute to a major new landmark building in central London, to provide state-of-the-art facilities for BBC Radio, and to integrate the national and international news teams into one centre. Another objective is to enhance public access for the BBC’s audiences and visitors, including a public piazza, radio theatre, new BBC shop and café, and a new exhibition/interactive area.

Of the new facilities, there will be six new studios for TV news, one of which is expected to be one of the largest live newsrooms in the world.

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