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New BAFTA HQ design raises the roof

“The material specifications and exquisite detailing, as well as the braver but USP design decisions place this iconic institution in future proof mode for many decades to come,” James Twomey, Judge.

Project: BAFTA Headquarters

Award: Civic – The Arts, Silver, 2022 

Location: London, UK 

Architect: Benedetti Architects 

Client: BAFTA 

This expansion and re-design of BAFTA's grade II listed headquarters on London’s Piccadilly has transformed a tired building which was unfit-for-purpose and expensive to run and maintain. Two huge Victorian rooflight structures and accompanying decorative plaster were raised and restored to create a new top floor while the ground floor has seen the addition of a new accessible glazed entrance.
The rooflight’s historic plasterwork was carefully removed and restored off-site. The renewed structure and plaster have been enclosed with an innovative new ‘smart’ liquid-crystal glazing system which reduces up to 80% of solar gain while crucially remaining clear for people to enjoy beautiful views of the St. James’s Churchyard trees which tower several stories above the building. 
Other new and improved facilities for the British arts charity include two cinemas, a banquet hall, members’ bar/restaurant and two new roof terraces with views over St. James’s & Piccadilly. The second floor has been transformed into a state-of-the art multi-purpose space for the training of diverse young creatives in film, games and television.

Design highlights

Despite the constraints of renovating a listed building, the new layout, infrastructure and new technology suit all mobility and sensory needs. The interior design echoes the 1930s and 40s dream palaces of British cinema’s golden age, with a warm and pared-down palette of classic, durable, sustainably sourced materials including travertine, oak, terrazzo, bronze/brass and marble with varying textures often highlighted with brass inserts.

  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters
  • BAFTA Headquarters

Photo credit: Luca Piffaretti, Jim Stephenson, Rory Mulvey, James Newton

  • LEAD ARCHITECT: Carla Sorrentino 
    CONTRACTOR: Knight Harwood 
    PROJECT MANAGER: Jackson Coles 
    STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Price & Myers   
    MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Harley Haddow   
  • AV CONSULTANT: Charcoal Blue   
    FIRE ENGINEER: BWC Fire Suppliers

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