The impressive BBC White City building was built in 1990 by Scott Brownrigg and Turner developed at the Wood Lane site about four miles outside central London- in Shepherds Bush. The Wood Lane site is also home to BBC Television Centre and the BBC Woodlands Building. It was this site that was used for the Franco-British exhibition of 1908. The site was bought by the BBC during the 1980’s – with the sole intention of redevelopment. In 1990 the building known as White City One was completed. Covering more than one third of the site and with 25,000 squared metres of space, the possibilities for White City as a working television building are endless. The steel-framed building is six storeys high, envelopes a courtyard and stands atop a basement used for parking.
The BBC is hardly without controversy and the same applies to its main television centre. Is it riddled with asbestos? Is Roman Abramovich going to buy it? Whatever the answers, the studios are steeped in history and television lovers can book guided tours where they get to wander into dressing rooms and retrace the footsteps of Britain’s best loved TV presenters and actors. Having opened in 1960, this was the first purpose-built BBC centre. Its design was inspired by a question mark – architect Graham Dawbarn was pondering how to fit eight studios, production offices and an area where trucks could unload into once complex when he realised the solution was staring at him from his piece of paper, hence the circular block surrounded by offices and the vehicle entrance. If you’ve ever walked past television centre (or TVC, as it’s known to employees) and wondered what the lengthy queues are in aid of, they are more than likely filled with people patiently waiting to sit in the audience of Strictly Come Dancing. You can apply to sit in the studio and watch any programme that requires an audience, it’s free and needless to say very popular, so book in advance.