UKTV opens new HQ “built for innovation”
December 4, 2014
Where in London can you find the head of a 15 metre dead parrot, a knight in shining armour, and tables that pass through walls?
It is at the brand new headquarters for multi-award winning media company, UKTV, whose mantra is to ‘Imagine more’. The doors to its inspirational and distinctive new 32,500 sq. ft. facility at the brand new West London development, 10 Hammersmith Grove is now open.
UKTV Facilities Director, Sarah Nelson, led a team of suppliers to create the contemporary headquarters. PENSON, one of Europe’s leading and most-recognised interior design and architecture studios, who previously created award-winning spaces for Google and Jay-z’s ROCNation developed the architectural design.
Under Sarah Nelson’s leadership, they tackled an ambitious brief to create a UKTV headquarters that is sophisticated, stimulating, and “built for innovation”.
Set across three floors the space is the dominated by the office’s visual centerpiece, a bespoke, ergonomic staircase designed by PENSON and created and manufactured by Aldworth, James & Bond, the designer makers responsible for stunning features used by Nike, Topshop and Mother London. The fluid sweeping steps taper out to a large platform, dotted with seating pads with a great view of the trend watching video wall.
Within the space are a variety of workspace types; small tables with cozy seating, swing seats suspended from the ceiling, zig zag sofas, patio seating as well as communal storage area and creative café-bar area. The new terrace is a suntrap that is filled with stylish flower boxes, bright blue patio furniture and bench tables that pass through the glass walls to inside.
The meeting rooms are simple and clean with elements bringing in the UKTV personality and quirky names such as ‘The Room Over There’ and ‘The Room with the Big Pink Sofa’.
Nelson says, “This new office space is completely unique to UKTV and will make everyday working life even more fun and stimulating. The grand staircase, designed and built by Aldworth James & Bond in collaboration with PENSON, is an organic shape that gives the impression it has been poured into the building. We have chosen to create an inherently social space with inviting and inspirational working hubs for groups, an open kitchen space with an outdoor terrace, and a dynamic Trend Watching video wall.”
“Most importantly technology is at the heart of our progressive new workspace, and it will give everyone at UKTV the freedom to work creatively and collaboratively. The complete end result is amazing and I am so proud of what has been achieved.”
PENSON CEO Lee Penson claims “UKTV’s HQ is more about life than work. The consequence is that it works more effectively, efficiently & creatively than a space that ironically focuses on just work”.
UKTV Chief Executive, Darren Childs adds, “I truly believe that innovation is delivered by the serendipity of constant connection with colleagues, and I’m certain that our ambitious new facility will create that. It is the perfect fit for a media company with a commitment to technology, imagination and the future of media.”
The company’s new mobile technology structure was devised by UKTV’s Director of Operations, Technology & Innovation Ben Hine and Head of Operations & Technology, Tim Goff. The all new tech system means a whole desk of functionality is now compressed into a MacBook Air or PC tablet which will work anywhere with a wifi connection. It has been installed and will continue to be supported by Circle IT, while Trend Watching supplies a dynamic feed of news and trends from onto a video wall at the centre of the facility.
The news of UKTV’s new office opening comes at a time when the media company is enjoying record growth, with a record 9.1% of the commercial TV broadcasting market for the first half of the year. It is currently the fastest growing commercial broadcaster in Britain.
The network reaches over 42 million viewers a month and has a raft of exciting new content in the pipeline that viewers will be able to enjoy on its linear channels and via the newly launched digital-only service UKTV Play. Brand new commissions announced this year include Storage Hunters UK, Hoff the Record and returning series Crackanory and David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities, as well as top American acquisitions Resurrection and The Strain.
UKTV’s network of 10 channels span both the free-to-air and pay TV space and are available through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, plus direct On Demand digital services. Within the last few weeks UKTV has launched its new digital only service and first non-linear brand, UKTV Play which will offer previews of original commissions and acquisitions.