Television Centre – the iconic former home of the BBC in White City – is set to deliver 950 new homes to the area. As the development launches its residential sales to the public, Creative Consultant Suzy Hoodless, a west London resident herself, tells us why Television Centre is a big deal for the area…
‘This completely opens up West London. For decades it has been this black hole or Tardis.’
It’s rather apt that Doctor Who’s means of (time) travel crops up in the interview with acclaimed designer Suzy Hoodless, particularly as our focus is on Television Centre, the iconic former home of the BBC in White City, which is set to deliver 950 new homes and apartments to the area.
‘I am a local resident of west London and our business is based locally too, and obviously it’s the old BBC site,’ Hoodless waxes lyrical on why she wanted to come on board as Creative Consultant. ‘It’s an incredibly historic site with amazing provenance. To be a part of that team is an amazing thing.’
The details of the residential interiors, designed by Paul Monaghan of AHMM, make impressive reading: the development will provide residents with a full suite of amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness club, residential lounge, private screening room and a rooftop culinary experience. Every apartment at Television Centre will come equipped with conveniences including underfloor heating and comfort cooling, with the scheme offering 24-hour concierge services to all residents.
The history of the buildings is not ignored either, with many Grade II-listed features – ranging from the external ‘atomic dots’ to a celebrated mural by John Piper – being retained
The history of the buildings is not ignored either, with many Grade II-listed features – ranging from the external ‘atomic dots’ to a celebrated mural by John Piper – being retained. ‘But Stanhope [the developers] know that people don’t want to necessarily live in a museum,’ Hoodless points out.
‘In terms of design, quite a lot of our furniture comes from the 20th century, but again we don’t want to be a slave to that. We are appealing to a savvy crowd, who know what’s cool and understands design and modern aesthetics. It would be a mistake to design something that was slavishly about the BBC, because that’s not what this is about. Every project is about working with the architecture and the environment.’
The project at Television Centre is perfect to highlight Hoodless’s approach to design. ‘I’m very much inspired by the building we are working in,’ she says, ‘inspired by the environment and by the client, and I am not interested in having a blanket style.
‘I am very clear that what 100% of my clients without fail will want is a comfortable, cool space. If it’s residential, a client brief will always be a “comfortable family home”. That is the challenge [at Television Centre]. I want people to walk in and think this is something they want to be associated with and that their home will be there.’
We chat about a host of other projects Hoodless is involved with, both close to home and much further afield, but there’s little doubt that Television Centre is huge. That Tardis element Hoodless pointed out will become much clearer as the scheme will be open to the public for the first time in its history with newly designed outdoor spaces by award-winning landscape architecture firm Gillespies, connecting Wood Lane with Hammersmith Park through the iconic Helios courtyard and landscaped Television Centre forecourt.
As Hoodless rightly says, and offers up another nod to Doctor Who in the process, it’s a ‘regeneration that very much has this sense of history’ attached to it. Prepare for a new face in West London.
Television Centre is a joint venture development between Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo, and is set to re-open in 2017 with prices ranging from £650,000 for a one bedroom apartment to £7 million for a penthouse. Find out more at televisioncentre.com