Finalized in 2022, Benedetti Architects have masterfully rejuvenated the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) headquarters, establishing a unique blend of classic and contemporary architecture. This monumental undertaking ingeniously integrates advanced technology with cost-efficiency while maintaining a delicate balance of BAFTA members’ requirements. All the while, the redesign pays homage to the building’s historic importance and secures the long-term sustainability of the charity.
BAFTA Headquarters Technical Information
- Architects: Benedetti Architects
- Location: 195 Piccadilly, London, England
- Client – BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
- Topics: Renovations
- Budget: £33,000,000
- Project Completion: 2022
- Photographs: © Jordan Anderson
I am hugely proud of BAFTA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that young talent from all walks of life are given every possible opportunity to build and develop successful careers in the film, games, and television industries. The redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly has created fantastic new learning spaces to ensure that future generations can receive the support they need to thrive.– HRH The Duke of Cambridge & President of BAFTA
BAFTA Headquarters Photographs
BAFTA Headquarters Reimagined: Celebrating Art, Sustainability, and Heritage
Benedetti Architects has skillfully executed a comprehensive expansion and reimagining of BAFTA’s Grade II listed headquarters. With a distinct focus on enhancing its international identity as a hub of excellence for Film, Games, and Television, the design incorporates state-of-the-art technology and optimizes cost-in-use efficiency. Importantly, the redesign addresses the needs of BAFTA’s members, facilitates public access, and optimizes revenue generation – crucial factors for the charity’s future social, environmental, and financial sustainability.
Since 1974, the historic building at 195 Piccadilly has been home to BAFTA. Originally constructed in 1883 as the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour, the building, over time, became limiting in its ability to facilitate BAFTA’s expanding charitable programs. Upon securing a new Crown Estate lease that extends beyond their 100th anniversary, Benedetti Architects were commissioned to lead the architectural and interior redesign of the space, which was funded solely by donations and reserves.
Previously worn and unfit for purpose, the 2,050m² listed building underwent a significant transformation. The new design by Benedetti Architects increases the total area to 2,465m², creating flexible, state-of-the-art spaces. The redesigned spaces promote a harmonious blend of the charity’s educational endeavors with members’ needs and potential revenue. The revamped Learning and New Talent floor stands at the centre of BAFTA’s mission, fostering the growth and training of diverse young creatives in Film, Games, and Television.
Benedetti Architects’ design significantly enhances the usability of the space. Not only does it double the capacity and washroom facilities, but it also includes a completely new infrastructure. With advanced features like fire safety, energy performance, acoustics, thermal comfort, and useability, the redesigned interior echoes BAFTA’s unique character and celebrates its historical assets. The reworked combination of spaces, volumes, and views endows the headquarters with robust adaptability, creating scope for special events and theatrical reveals.
One of the most remarkable features of the design is the restoration of two vast 1883 Victorian rooflight spaces and decorative plasterwork on the new top floor, which had been blocked and assumed lost for over 40 years. These historic elements were raised and enclosed with innovative high-performance ‘Eyrise’ smart glazing, unveiling spectacular views over St James’s Church and garden.
The project comprises a variety of spaces including a 227-seat Princess Anne cinema/theatre with Dolby Atmos, a new 41-seat cinema/theatre, banqueting hall, four kitchens, multi-purpose event/exhibition spaces, members’ bar/restaurant area, a skylit boardroom using historic materials discovered during construction, judging/meeting rooms, staff welfare/offices, and terraces overlooking Piccadilly and St. James’s Churchyard.
The design features a simplified palette of classic, durable, sustainably sourced materials in a range of textures, masterfully incorporated into a suite of bespoke detailing. The finesse of the design is evident in the increasing refinement on each successive floor, culminating in a spectacular top-floor ‘crescendo’.
BAFTA Headquarters Plans
BAFTA Headquarters Image Gallery
About Benedetti Architects
Benedetti Architects prioritizes the needs and ambitions of its clients while also considering the impact of their designs on all end-users. Their architectural style leans towards creating elegant, uplifting spaces, achieving enduring solutions that are thoughtfully rooted in a deep understanding of the context, place, and tangible qualities such as materials, volume, and light.
They maintain an open, collaborative environment, engaging clients, the design team, stakeholders, and builders to craft tailor-made solutions that respect the uniqueness of each site. Through their approach, Benedetti Architects adeptly transform project constraints into practical opportunities, striving to extract the utmost value from the complex realities every architectural project entails.
Works from Benedetti Architects
- Structural Engineers: Price & Myers
- Contractor: Knight Harwood
- Services Engineer: Harley Haddow
- Project Manager and QS: Jackson Coles
- Client Project Manager: Equals Consulting
- Planning Consultant: DP9
- Lighting Designer: LAPD
- AV Consultant: Charcoalblue
- Acoustic Consultant: Sandy Brown
- Heritage Consultant: Alan Baxter Heritage
- Fire Engineer: BWC Fire