January 30, 2006

BH


BBC 2
Originally uploaded by Mike Knell.

I'd forgotten exactly how striking Broadcasting House is in person, as it had been a while since I'd seen it by daylight until I happened to walk past today. 1930s architecture at its very finest and most elegant, a giant ship of a building sailing down Portland Place in a manner which reminds me of the Crimson Permanent Assurance. Eric Gill's fantastic sculptures make it one of those rare things - a building that's equally as interesting to look at close up as it is from a distance.

Inside, with the exception of the reception area (currently closed during the building works, but I hope it reopens) the building is, in my opinion, a bit of a mess after 70 years of alteration and remodelling to suit the changing needs of the BBC. But outside, it's a treat. A creation of the days when broadcasting was still a young ambitious medium, when the wireless was all and television was only the subject of Baird's vague and fuzzy demonstrations, and the mystery and magic of the new medium had yet to change into the utilitarian ubiquity that characterises the radio of today. With the possible exception of Television Centre, no broadcasting building has yet defined the characteristics of the medium it was built to serve so well.

Posted by mpk at January 30, 2006 9:35 PM
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