Television Centre Becomes Grade II Listed

Studio One and central ring "of architectural and historic interest"

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Television Centre in Wood Lane has become a Grade II Listed Building, following a recommendation by English Heritage.

The Department of Culture, Media & Sport decided that the central ring and Studio One of the White City complex were both worthy of listing.

The culture minister, Barbara Follett, said: "The home of BBC television news since 1969 and the place where Blue Peter, Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers came to life, it has been a torture chamber for politicians and an endless source of first-class entertainment for the nation, sometimes both at the same time. I am delighted to be able to give it the extra protection that listing provides."

Designed by Graham Dawbarn of Norman & Dawbarn, the complex was built between 1955 and 1960 and was the first purpose-built TV centre in the country.

A letter from the DCMS to the BBC notes that while the central ring and Studio One are the only areas deemed to be "of sufficient architectural or historic interest to merit listing", the rest of the complex has been included.

"The Secretary of State is not persuaded that the other studios, the scenery block or the canteen are of special interest but he considers that it would be difficult to exclude these buildings from the listing given their structural attachment to the central ring and studio 1," the letter states.

The listed areas have important 1950s design and architectural features as well as a mosaic from prolific artist John Piper, a gilded sculpture of the Greek sun god Helios and the well-known studded wall, with its circular discs.

The announcement means that any major demolition work or plans to alter existing brickwork, doors, windows or the interior of the 48-year-old building, will need approval from Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Television Centre is already on the local register of buildings of merit and stands in the Wood Lane Conservation Area, designated by the council in March 1991.

Cllr Mark Loveday said: “The BBC has been part of this borough’s heritage for well over 50 years, even before Television Centre was built. We are thrilled that these important cultural buildings, which are architecturally and historically significant will now be preserved for future generations to see.”

July 18, 2009

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