The Rotunda

Fathom Architects, London, 2018


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Part of the new creative campus at White City Place – home to BBC Digital and the Royal College of Art – The Rotunda embraces the ‘circular economy’, re-purposing a redundant former BBC social club built in the 1990s, into 325sqm of flexible incubator and

The original cylindrical structure has been stripped back to expose generous floor to ceiling heights and a feature conical rooflight, creating a series of distinctive spaces for creativity to flourish. Our design aesthetic plays on the industrial building character, exposing its geometry and materials -including raw block, structural steelwork and services - against a deliberately neutral backdrop enabling future tenants to make their own mark.

Layouts establish two distinct spaces with a deliberate contrast between the ground and upper level. Defining the two floors helps articulate a clear separation between the atmospheric studio and event spaces, and the more functional communal workspaces. Creating a rational plan within the circular building, we provided a ground floor workspace with a kitchenette, meeting room and new WC and shower provision. Contrasting with the ground floor's lightness, the upper floor is more enigmatic in nature - the only natural light emanating from a conical rooflight at the building’s apex. A dramatic open volume to host events and performances, with the ability to be sub-divided into a series of recording studios, media suites, green room, bar and breakout areas.

The building utilises recycled items and equipment from previous fit-out projects within the White City Place development in order to deliver workspace in an affordable and sustainable manner. These include various recycled light fittings, air conditioning system, kitchen units, WC and furniture - predominantly sourced from the nearby Media Works building. Working directly with the end-user created a clear understanding of requirements, optimising lighting layouts and room configurations for acoustics.

It allowed for an intrinsic understanding of their future aspirations, enabling built-in flexibility for further phased development to reduce waste and redundancy. The next phase is already underway with one room now professionally tuned and fitted out as the first studio space within the scheme.

All photography Harry Godfrey


  • Begun: Nov 2017
  • Completed: Jul 2018
  • Floor area: 325m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £135,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Aug 2017
  • Procurement: Minor works
  • Address: White City Place, London, United Kingdom

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