Dezeen Magazine

BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff by Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners completes BBC headquarters in Cardiff

Foster + Partners has completed a new headquarters for BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff, which features a broad metal canopy supported on slender columns.

BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff by Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners has designed the BBC's Welsh headquarters topped with a broad metal roof

The building designed for the Welsh division of the broadcaster has now been handed over for internal fit out by Overbury and Sheppard Robson in time to welcome 1,200 staff in 2019.

Staff and visitors will be welcomed to the building by a skylit atrium offering views into the four levels of glass-fronted workspaces above. A 4,000-square-metre triple height "hub" at the centre of the building will house studios, offices and production facilities.

When it opens, the headquarters will include a range of administrative spaces and production studios, as well as a ground-level cafe facing the square and a restaurant on the roof.

BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff by Foster + Partners
The building's entrance leads into a skylit atrium overlooked by offices

Norman Foster's London-based practice designed the building as part of its 139,355-square-metre Central Square masterplan for the area beside Cardiff Central train station.

"The design of the building is inspired by its unique location and the institutional heritage of the BBC, to create a distinctive icon that the people of Cardiff can be proud of," said head of studio at Foster + Partners, Gerard Evenden.

"A progressive, state-of- the-art workplace for the BBC, it also forms the central focus for the regeneration of this urban quarter, and we look forward to its full opening next year."

BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff by Foster + Partners
A curved opening in the metal roof allows light into a roof garden

Developer Rightacres is overseeing the regeneration project, which will including another project by Foster + Partners – Two Central Square. This building will become home to Cardiff University's School of Journalism and Hugh James Solicitors.

A curved opening in the metal roof plane allows natural light into the roof garden, which offers views across the city and provides a spot for outdoor filming.

BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff by Foster + Partners
The building's roof is supported on a row of slender columns

The design's environmentally friendly features including chilled beams, and use of local and recycled materials, have earned the building an "outstanding" accreditation from sustainability assessors BREEAM.

The building's mechanical systems are organised to offer a flexible layout, helping to future-proof the building against the advent of new broadcasting technology.

BBC Cymru Wales in Cardiff by Foster + Partners
The BBC Cymru Wales headquarters forms part of the wider Central Square masterplan designed by Foster + Partners for Cardiff's city centre. Visual is by Meshroom

Foster and his firm came in at number nine on the lastest Dezeen Hot List, a comprehensive guide to the hot topics and key figures in the architecture and design world over the past year.

Foster is currently working on a broad range of projects. Recently he collaborated with Rapha to design a range of cross-country ski wear, and his firm is designing a new headquarters for golfing association PGA Tour in northeast Florida.

Photography is by Nigel Young.