Project
BBC Scotland HQ

Location
Scotland, United Kingdom

Completed
2007

Architect
David Chipperfield Architects

Interior Architect
Graven Images

Electrical Contractor
Northern Light

Photographer
James Newton

Awards

Award of Merit, IALD Awards, 2009
Type
Workplace

Discipline
Strategy + Branding




BBC Scotland’s HQ is the built representation of its brand identity, supporting its TV, radio, digital and educational services.

Challenged by the BBC to develop a night-time identity for the building, we set about complementing its spirit with light that is fully integrated into the architectural form.

The basis of our lighting concept suggests the creative spirit of the BBC by revealing the inner workings of the building after dark. Like a television set, by day the building’s appearance is ‘turned off’. After dark the building is ‘turned on’ - animated by colour and life.

The crown of the building is highlighted with colour-change LED floodlights programmed with a series of variable scenes for different days of the week. These are able to be re-programmed by the BBC’s own in-house lighting designers for special occasions such as Red Nose Day, St Andrew’s Day, or Christmas.

By way of contrast, we revealed the main satellite dishes on top of the building in pure white light, to maintain a sense of permanent connection to the rest of the world.

Bearing in mind the BBC’s own stringent requirements for ease of maintenance, sustainability and affordability, we achieved the final exterior lighting identity within an energy target of less than 0.5W/m2. This is a clear demonstration of the possibility for a major workplace building to have a strong external image without consuming large amounts of energy.

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