BBC Cymru Wales Cardiff, UK

The new BBC Cymru Wales headquarters reveals a close connection to audience and community, whilst promoting new standards for inclusivity. The new headquarters, and the diverse range of spaces within, has been designed to shape the broadcaster’s future, supporting major investment in Welsh broadcasting whilst acting as a magnet for the best creative talent.

The 21st Century digital broadcasting environment is comprised of complex and technically demanding spaces, as well as progressive workplace strategies. Due to the scope and ambition of the project, an internal masterplan for the facility was designed by ID:SR and BBC Workplace, which was then housed in a distinctive piece of modern architecture.

The headquarters are defined by a civic quality, with the public welcomed into the ground floor where they can observe content being created first-hand from a ‘street’ that runs through the building. Colour ‘pixel’ blocks are visible from the atrium, animating the central space whilst expressing the digital culture of the organisation. Colourful elements lead the eye up through the bustling floors, with the exposed services visible and illustrating how the design knits together high-performance infrastructure and locally-crafted materials.

The project was approached as an opportunity to bring BBC Wales as close as possible to its audiences while making a significant architectural and civic statement. This was embodied through engagement with the local community—including a design competition in which local students designed fabrics and furniture for the project, with some of the winners’ work incorporated into the final design.

The project teams worked alongside numerous local suppliers, local labour and craftspeople (70% of the suppliers for the construction phase were located within 50 miles of the building) and used local products (85% of the total spend on aspects such as furniture, loose fixtures and fittings has been spent within the UK). This helped reduce carbon emissions, stimulate the local economy and root the building within its community.

The project also promoted new perspectives on wellness and inclusivity, incorporating considerations around neurodiversity into the design decisions—including lighting, colour, patterns, and routes through the building. With the use of professional expertise, the design approach looked to broaden the definition of inclusivity in the workplace, allowing a greater range of people to do their best work whilst also creating vibrant spaces for all.

Client
Size
14,000 m2
Completion
2019

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