Upstairs downstairs


I’m on the ground floor of BBC Television Centre, a 1960s building in west London. I look directly upwards and through the stairwell to the light filtering down. I can’t claim to have taken the stairs up to the top – a swift ride in a lift took me there.

This stairwell doesn’t have the Art Deco glamour of the one at the former Daily Express headquarters on the other side of the city, but like stairways the world over, has an interesting inverted quality. What you see from the bottom is reversed at the top.

Television Centre has been sold off for redevelopment and staff are gradually being moved out. Much of the iconic building is protected, and hopefully this staircase will continue to be used for many years to come.

View a gallery of interior details of other London buildings

13 thoughts on “Upstairs downstairs

  1. Love the staircase! Reminds me of my time working at Television Centre! I used to work on the 3rd floor, for the now defunct Costume Department! I often used to run up and down those stairs to get to the studios as it was often quicker then waiting for the lift!


      • Yes, that staircase certainly did keep me fit! And it was safer then getting stuck in the lift! I really miss working at Televison Centre, but after the Costume Department was moved to a warehouse in north Acton (after we were told we couldn’t afford to stay at TC!), I no-longer felt a part of the BBC so left. It’s great that you’ve taken some photo’s of the Centre before it closes. I find your photo of the empty corridor (leading to the canteen I think) strangely moving. Looking forward to watching Goodbye to Television Centre at 8.30pm on BBC4!


  2. Nice. It may provide some interesting looks when the building is vacated. I have a ‘thing’ for stairs…the static architecture holding the potential for movement.


    • Thank you very much, Diana. I’m furiously gathering images as I have weeks left there before moving out. A lot of people have memories of the place such as yours. The link I’ve added to a news story suggests these areas will be retained – I think listed status has helped the cause.


  3. Beautiful! Love the first shot. Almost iconic in itself. I While it’s having an impact on staff, I was please to note that the doughnut is going to stay, and that three studios are also remaining… I’m intrigued by the hotel idea… :)


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