Details

Keywords Change this

Postmodernism, Television Brodcast

Project timeline

1981 – 1982

Type

Culture & Entertainment

Location Change this

17-29 Hawley Crescent
NW1 8TT London
United Kingdom
www.tv-am.org.uk/

Current state

Renovated

Also known as Change this

Breakfast Television Centre

Architect Change this

Team

Farrells Architects

Client Change this

TV-am TV Company
www.tv-am.org.uk/about-tv-am

Gross floor area Change this

93,418m²

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Article last edited by lchiselef on
September 19th, 2017

TV-am Studios Change this

London, United Kingdom
by Sir Terry Farrell Change this
1 of 17

Description Change this

Sir Terry Farrell was commissioned by TV-am to design Breakfast Television Centre. In March 1981 a site was found located between Hawley Crescent and the Grand Union Canal in Camden Town, North London. Renovation began in August 1981. From Hawley Crescent, the TV-am building was easily identifiable with its large T, V, A, M letters sticking out of the wall, and large sunrise archway over the entrance into the forecourt. Farrell designed the atrium in keeping with the station’s early morning transmission times, portraying the sun’s travels from East to West, country by country, across the globe.

The Japanese Pavillion – TV-am’s Green Room where guests are invited before going on to the show – represented the East. Moving westwards, the huge staircase (called the wedding cake by some staff), depicts images of the Middle East and is also seen as an island surrounded in blue with boat-like gangways (the stairs) to the upper shores. The journey continues through temple like forms and arcadian landscapes of the Mediterranean and Greece, ending in desert plants, which form the North American West. TV-am’s two studios and technical areas led off from the Japanese Pavillion. Studio A, 3000 square feet, was home to the Good Morning Britain set. Studio B, 800 square feet, was where the TV-am news desk and smaller Good Morning Britain set were located.

The offices, open-plan, are situated on the first floor. The newsroom, above the Japanese Pavillion, seen as the focal point – a semi circle of visual display units and computer terminals that linked TV-am to worldwide news agencies. The crowning glory must surely be the 12 enormous eggcups (a dozen eggs) on the roof, seen from the canal. The eggs caused the building to become affectionately known as ‘eggcup house’. Although most of the building has now changed, the eggcups remain on the roof to this day. In 1993 the TV-am building was sold to MTV Europe. Much of the interior has been redesigned, but the eggcups remained. The first real example of post modern architecture in Britain, Terry Farrell’s TV-am building won a Civic Trust Award in 1985.

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