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HOK delivers new BBC Studios Comedy Productions workspace in London

Image: courtesy of HOK

BBC Studios Comedy Productions has relocated to a new home in London’s Chinatown. The move required redesigning an existing space to create a workplace that expresses BBC Comedy’s distinct creativity and identity.

The new 4,000-sq.-ft. workplace is located at 45 Gerrard Street, the former home of England’s first poet laureate, John Dryden. The historic building has been restored and remodelled to create a Grade A workspace that retains existing elements and offers a sense of authenticity.

HOK’s London Interiors team designed a retro boutique space where creative writers, directors and actors can collaborate and foster new ideas. The sustainable use of vintage furniture and historic Crittall windows adds a feeling of home and familiarity.

“The design aligns with BBC Studios’ aim to create a best-in-class workspace to attract and retain top creative talent and enable them to self-actualize,” said HOK interior designer Luke Henry-Powell. “It is less a corporate office than a collaboration hub where writers, performers and producers can generate new ideas for global television and streaming.”

The workplace spans two floors of adjacent buildings. HOK matched new modifications with the existing fabric to ensure seamless accessibility, providing a fully accessible space with level changes across the buildings.

The project features a range of space typologies that offer staff a choice of work settings. First floor areas provide inclusive, client-facing creative spaces. A folding glass partition on the first floor opens a large conference room to the wider floor, providing an inviting space for events and functions. Lounge-style meeting and writing spaces include dedicated writing desks and intimate workspaces that encourage collaboration.

The second floor focuses primarily on desk-based work while offering an eclectic range of meeting spaces and focus booths to ensure the space is activated throughout the day.

Highly individualized spaces are accessorized with BBC Comedy artwork, memorabilia and awards that create a veritable time capsule of cherished programs and personalities from the past several decades.

The project presented HOK with a variety of design challenges. Tight access to the building required that furniture and materials not exceed specific size limits. Noise pollution from the street required the installation of a secondary glazing system that sits parallel to the period Crittall windows. Additionally, vintage mid-century furniture rarely meets today’s stringent fire regulations, which required the team to meticulously review each piece for material safety and reupholster some pieces as needed.


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