TV-am building

Terry Farrell and Partners, London, 1983


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Terry Farrell has left little room for compromise. Either you love his TV am building, or you hate it 

Richard Bryant     Download Original

  • Terry Farrell has left little room for compromise. Either you love his TV am building, or you hate it    
  • Historically London buildings have shied away from water, turning their backs on the Thames and its canals. TV-am in its blousy way begins to redress the balance    
  • It has been described as sophisticated, witty, eclectic, urban, ugly, crude and too jokey by half    
  • The Venetian splendor of the canalside elevation. Apart from the cantilevered house (extreme right) this facade has been left very much as found    
  • The full impact of Farrell    
  • Looking from the mirror wall along through the Italian garden to the central stair    
  • Looking west into the Italian garden - a space to walk in or look into but serving no specific function    
  • Architecture as a backdrop to high fashion    
  • The influence of Italian     
  • Artful sprawl of the Olivetti newsdesks located at Mezzanine level. Distinctive desk lights identify each workspace    
  • Atrium viewed from the roof of the Japanese pavilion    
  • Suburban drawing-room style studio - a far cry from Farrell    
  • The     
  • The boardroom table composed of elements which banded together form the TV-am logo    
  • Location plan    
  • Ground and first floor plans    
  • Elevation and section of back wall    
  • Cross Section    
  • Atrium section    
  • Montage of development ideas    
  • Existing structure    
  • Access routes    
  • Establishing relationship with road    
  • Sketch of the atrium, east    
  • Sketch of the atrium, west    
  • Overlaying the grids of the atrium    
  • Various drawings of facade    
  • Development of front wall    
  • Different zones of the north facade    
  • Transformation of the north facade    
  • Sun path    
  • Development of keystone    

Theatrical and functional, Postmodern TV centre with distinctive rooftop eggcups, built alongside a canal in Camden

The studio replaces a disused 1950’s garage and makes use of an existing 1920’s warehouse on a site between a canal and one-way street. The curved street façade, clad in black and grey ceramic-faced concrete blockwork, is terminated at each end by large T, V, a, m letters protruding from the wall announcing the building. A Skeletal arch with coloured banding supports a mutilated keystone over the entrance to the forecourt.

The entrance courtyard, which is large enough for cars to turnaround in, leads into the spectacular double height atrium incorporating the Japanese pavilion, one of the many architectural styles used in the building.

The canalside façade remains largely as found, with some colourful interventions. The painted brick sawtooth parapet, with glassfibre eggcup pinnacles presents an exciting front to Camden Lock.


  • Completed: 1983
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Office
  • Total cost: £5M
  • Address: Breakfast Television Centre, Hawley Crescent, Camden Lock, London, NW1 1NN, United Kingdom

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