20th September 2007

BBC Pacific Quay opens

Prime Minister Gordon Brown opened the BBC’s new studios and Scottish headquarters at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay on 20 September 2007. The building, which comprises offices, storage, dressing rooms, production suites and three television studios, had cost just over £70m to construct. Its immediate neighbour is independent broadcaster STV.

The BBC moved to Pacific Quay when it outgrew its premises at Queen Margaret Drive and the budget for its renovation proved uneconomic.

“Remarkably simple”

“The sharp glass bulk of the new BBC Headquarters in Glasgow seems remarkably simple when compared with other recent landmark’ buildings, such as The Scottish Parliament with its myriad contours,” said The Herald on 30 June 2007, just under three months before its official opening. “But the BBC did romp home on time and on budget – £188.4 million including land, a structure of over 34,000 square metres, all the technology and the not inconsiderable cost of moving everyone from its old HQ in Queen Margaret Drive.”

Internally, the building is constructed around a red sandstone street, with steps, and the BBC used this as inspiration for the later rebranding of its broadcast facilities as The Street.

The BBC moves

By the time Gordon Brown opened the building, some staff had already been working there for five months, with the BBC having implemented a phased transition to the new site.

Speaking at the opening. Brown said that he believed the building would become a design classic, and “we can applaud here in Glasgow today, the UK’s most advanced broadcast studios and production facilities, the biggest TV recording space ever built in Scotland, the first High Definition facility of its kind in the European Union, one of the world’s leading digital centres and I am very proud that this is happening here in Glasgow.”

Rave reviews

“Pacific Quay is a compelling model for a 21st-century working environment – somewhere between a funky urban hotel and a Tuscan hillside village,” wrote Steve Rose in The Guardian on 8 October 2007. “Situated on Glasgow’s former Govan dockside, the building adopts a sleeves-rolled-up industrial aesthetic: exposed concrete columns, perforated metal cladding, warehouse-like skylights and girders.”

Visiting the BBC at Pacific Quay made Rose jealous, he said, and left him wishing that he worked somewhere just like it.



Other events that occured in September

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