BBC Headquarters

BBC Headquarters, Pacific Quay
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

BBC Headquarters, Pacific Quay

The BBC's new state-of-the-art Scottish headquarters is located on Pacific Quay, Glasgow's so-called 'media quarter' opposite the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the south bank of the River Clyde. Representing the world's first fully digital broadcast centre and occupying 34,000 sq. m (365,000 sq. feet) over five storeys, the building provides accommodation for around 1200 staff, together with a series of radio and television studios. Taking the form of a striking white triple-glazed modernist box, the building cost £130 million and was designed by English architect David Chipperfield. It was officially opened on 20th September 2007 by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (b.1951).

Beyond the exceptionally large public reception area, the interior takes on a pseudo-industrial style, with exposed concrete and services, together with metal cladding. Open-plan work areas, editing suites and the smaller radio studios are arranged around the periphery of the building, surrounding a cathedral-like void. This void is partially filled by a structure containing the three principal broadcasting studios, which takes the form of an Aztec temple, rising through the length of the building and featuring grand staircases ascending the great steps onto its roof via successive terraces. Walkways intersect with these terraces providing meeting spaces that are intended to promote creativity. This structure is faced with warm red Ayrshire sandstone, which contrasts markedly with the concrete and steel used elsewhere in the building. The main television studio is the second largest in Britain and the first in Europe to provide high-definition facilities.

Immediately to the west of the BBC entrance is the Glasgow Science Centre.

From 1936 until the completion of this new building in the Spring of 2007, the BBC had occupied premises on Queen Margaret Drive in the West End of the city.

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