London, UK (August 3, 2010)–UK studio design consultancy White Mark Ltd. recently completed a London HQ for German public broadcaster ARD, including all of the technical areas.
A Victorian building near London’s Tottenham Court Road has been completely renovated and transformed to create the modern, vibrant new headquarters. The project manager for this marathon task, which took more than a year from initial design to completion, was UK studio design consultancy White Mark Ltd. The company also designed and installed all of the technical areas including radio and television studios, control rooms, vocal booths and edit suites.
“This is the first time we have undertaken a project of this magnitude,” says White Mark director Alan Cundell. “Structurally, the building was in a very poor state and required a good deal of remedial work before we could begin the technical transformation. The roof had to be replaced and we also had to rebuild the rear wall to incorporate a massive three-story-high glass window. The original power supply dated back to the early 20th Century and was simply inadequate. This problem was only solved when EDF installed a completely new mains cable, which involved digging up large sections of the surrounding streets.”
ARD (the acronym stands for Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations of the Federal Republic of Germany) is a consortium of nine regional public service broadcasters. It operates a terrestrial television network and a digital package of three free-to-air channels. It also participates in the production of a number of cable and satellite channels and has Internet and Teletext services. On the radio side, ARD operates 54 regional and local radio stations and two nationwide radio channels.
The decision to move its headquarters to Tottenham Court Road was forced upon ARD by Crossrail, a major railway expansion through central London, which rendered ARD’s former location unusable. Once the new building had been identified, White Mark was called in to handle the transformation.