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BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE, LLANDAFF

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 419742

Map Reference ST17NW

Grid Reference ST1488878366

Unitary (Local) Authority Cardiff

Old County Glamorgan

Community Llandaff

Type of Site TELEVISION STUDIO

Broad Class COMMUNICATIONS

Period 20th Century

Site Description Broadcasting House is a purpose-built complex of buildings constructed to house the studios and offices of the British Broadcasting Company in Wales. Designed by Dale Owen of the firm Sir Percy Thomas & Sons, the first building-stage of the complex was constructed in 1963–1966 and officially opened on St Davids Day 1967.

The buildings of Broadcasting House were designed as an interconnected and consistent modernist construction of reinforced concrete with prominent fenestration and white external wall surfaces of Carrara marble aggregate and flat roofs. The main entrance, reached by a flight of stairs and under a Miesian canopy, is the narrow south-east end of the six-storey central administrative building, the building extending back from it. To the right and left are a restaurant pavilion and sound studios (respectively). The restaurant is a single storey over car parking and is glazed on three sides with a balcony extending the entire length of the south-west elevation. The sound studios lack prominent fenestration, the three large oriel windows which project above the building’s roof level having narrow windows on the sides only, and is boldly faced with white panelling. To the north west of the sound studios are the music studios, the main studio of which projects above the main building and is studded with reinforced concreate beam near the roofline. Behind these buildings project the two-storey technical block. The television studio to the left of the music studio was a later edition and is in a similar style, although a later office block to the north east of the administrative building and a social club to the north east of the complex are slightly incongruitous and are faced in dark brown brick.

From 2008, plans developed to move the BBC from Broadcasting House, leading to the development of Cardiff Central Square on the former site of the Cardiff Bus Station (407179) and Temperance Town (NPRN 409133). An attempt was made for the site, which was a significant example of modernist architecture in Wales, to be awarded Grade II listing. This, however, did not come to fruition and in late 2014 planning permission was obtained to convert the site of Broadcasting House and neighbouring Ty Oldfield into 400 residential units.

(Sources: Jonathan Vining, ‘BBC Broadcasting House, Llandaff, Cardiff: A Statement of Significance’, Unpublished MSc paper, University of Bath, 2013–2014, NMRW. MS, UD10/04; John Newman, The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1995), p. 262–63; Sion Barry, ‘Go Ahead for Housing Scheme on BBC Wales Headquarters Site in Llandaff’, Wales Online, 04.12.2016)
A.N. Coward, RCAHMW, 08.01.2019

Digital Images

Archive Records