BBC Manchester Masterplan,
Manchester

Client

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) / Land Securities

Prior to the proposed relocation to the media city in Salford Quays, the BBC appointed Hodder Associates to develop a masterplan for New Broadcasting House (NBH) on Oxford Road in Manchester.

The current buildings and site have a fortress-like quality with little permeability and little acknowledgement of the city grain. Our proposal was to distil and reconfigure the existing NBH, retain key components, but re-invigorate it with a more flexible arrangement and a new image appropriate to the BBC in the 21st Century.

A new public square formed an important component of the masterplan affording an important link between UMIST to the west, and Oxford Road to the east, and offering the opportunity for outdoor performance linked to BBC programming. This was realised by rearranging the servicing strategy for the building (currently at the heart of the site) utilising the natural fall across the site to facilitate access from a new undercroft. It was intended that a new entrance to NBH will be off the square improving audience management.

The masterplan proposed taller residential buildings adjacent to the River Medlock. Commercial development (retail and offices) defined the south edge of the square and interfaced with Bruntwood’s Technology Park.