BT Cellnet/02 Mobile Applications Development & Implementation Centre

BT Cellnet/02 Mobile Applications Development & Implementation Centre

Eldridge London Architects
London, United Kingdom
Richard Davies

BT Cellnet/02 Mobile Applications Development & Implementation Centre

Eldridge London Architects as Architects

The challenge of reinventing BT Cellnet’s workplace was not only to give physical definition to their new corporate culture but in the process to help alleviate their recruitment problem. BT Cellnet/02 appointed Eldridge Smerin to design their new temporary research headquarters in Ealing, West London following a design competition. These occupy one of the existing film studios on the historic Ealing Studio site which is being redeveloped. Eldridge Smerin’s proposal responded to the fact that BT Cellnet’s studio was due for demolition in two years time and centred on the design of elements that could be taken away and re-used in a new building. The design of the open plan work area challenges the conventions of BT’s corporate environment providing a model for applications development facilities of this kind within the firm’s new organisation. Eldridge Smerin wrapped the entire exterior in a white translucent fabric skin presenting a new and quite abstract image to the outside world and protecting the Centre from the adjacent construction sites. Internally, apart from the creation of dramatic new volumes and incisions in the brick structure, a minimal amount of works were carried out to the existing building. This interior became a sculptural backdrop to a series of finely engineered mobile structures housing meeting space and development facilities. These highly serviced elements can be dismantled and carried through a standard door opening.

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