BBC North Manchester, mediacity:uk, Salford Interior, Office Building, Architect, Design

BBC North, Manchester : Media City Salford

Building + development in northwest England design by ID:SR, UK

19 Dec 2011

BBC North mediacity:uk

Location: Salford Quays
Dates: 2007-11
Design: ID:SR

BBC North revealed : A workplace inspired by the vibrancy of the city

ID:SR is delighted to reveal the recently completed BBC North at MediaCityUK, Salford

More Choice, Less Space

Taking the lead from the vibrancy of shared spaces and amenities found in cities, BBC North has been designed to capture this vibrancy, offering more choice in less space. Amenity-centric rather than desk-centric, the workplace supports agile working across a variety of desirable work settings tailored to a range of activities, whether holding a team meeting, making a phone call, editing content, having an informal catch up, tweeting or blogging. It even doubles as a studio space, providing the backdrop to a variety of broadcasts.

BBC North Manchester Media City mediacity:uk
photo : Gareth Gardner

The ‘meeting pods’ that line the atrium of one of the three buildings at MediaCityUK in Salford have created an iconic image for BBC North. Transforming dead space at the edge of atrium, too narrow for desks or rooms, these visually striking pods, referencing digital pixels in form and colour, have created both focus spaces and intimate collaboration opportunities within the most public of places, connecting all to a marvellous view with the open atrium. These are spaces designed for people which also meet ID:SR’s brief from the BBC: to provoke a smile!

Kit of Parts

BBC North Manchester Media City mediacity:uk BBC North Manchester Media City mediacity:uk BBC North Manchester Media City mediacity:uk BBC North Manchester Media City mediacity:uk
photos : Will Pryce

As the BBC was leasing its new buildings from a developer, the fit-out needed to be sculpted between the Cat A. ID:SR’s solution was a flexible ‘kit of parts’, a series of related joinery items which would sit within the base build structure creating a variety of semi-enclosed spaces. Minimal impact to the sub structure of the buildings also meant that this approach was not only flexible and cost-effective, but also offered a sustainable and future-proof solution. Designed with ‘velcro and wheels’ flexibility these spaces are easy to reconfigure, allowing people to ebb and flow.

Currently the BBC is just over half way through a 36-week migration, with over 1,600 staff based on the site, making and broadcasting content. By April 2012, 2,300 people will work for the BBC at MediaCityUK with an additional 1,000 posts scheduled to join them on site by the end of 2017 – an increase which will be effected without alteration to ID:SR’s original design.

Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR said, “Designing a new base in the North of England for such a creative organisation was an exciting challenge, particularly in the context of the impact of digital technology and how audiences watch and enjoy BBC content across multiple platforms.

There are so many more stories behind this project to tell: how we engaged with the creative and operational teams at the BBC, the role of British manufacturers and designers, the innovative facilities management strategy developed alongside the design, and of course the very details of the design which together have created a new home for BBC North that reflects the dynamism of the digital age: global and hi-tech it is also authentic and local.”

MediaCityUK – Project Background

The BBC is the UK’s public service broadcaster, paid for by the British public and providing content for television, radio and online for audiences free at the point of access. BBC North is one of the most ambitious projects in the Corporation’s history and is part of its commitment to spend more of the licence fee across the UK. The ambition is to create a new centre of excellence outside London for high quality, original production, technology research and development and training the workforce of the future.

MediaCityUK, a major new development in Salford Quays, outside Manchester, provided the ideal location for the new centre. A brownfield site, it offered an opportunity for the BBC to be part of a large-scale regeneration project that would benefit the entire region. The BBC leased three buildings from Peel Media who developed the site and began to plan the move of 2,300 staff across 37 departments to the site.

Project dates: 2008-11


ID:SR is Sheppard Robson’s award-winning interior design group. Our activity-driven design approach puts people at the heart of the design process. ID:SR combines creative skill with management and delivery expertise. We work with occupiers and developers, helping them to get the best out of their building, whether a refurbishment or a new build. We believe that successful workplace design optimises space and increases productivity within an environment that is creative and desirable.

Sheppard Robson

BBC North Manchester images / information from ID:SR

mediacity:uk – masterplan

Salford Quays

MediaCityUK wins Carbuncle Cup 2011 – Sep 2011

Media City Salford
photo © webbaviation

mediacity:uk – masterplan : Benoy Architects

Carbuncle Cup 2011 Winner – Sep 2011
Media CityUK wins the Carbuncle Cup for 2011.

mediacity:uk BBC buildings architects : Wilkinson Eyre, UK

Media CityUK building, Salford
Media CityUK Salford
image from architects

Broadcasting House London


Location: Salford, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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