Natural ventilation is at the heart of a BREEAM Excellent- rated television broadcasting studio in West London.
Located in Isleworth, west London, Harlequin 1 houses recording, post-production and transmission facilities for Sky’s Broadcast and Sports News departments. Designed by Arup Associates, the building is divided horizontally into three activity zones: make, shape and share. The lower floors accommodate television studios used to make content. On the middle floors are data centres, production facilities and editing suites where content is shaped. The top floor is given over to transmission platforms from which the television signal is shared.
Post-production and technical spaces are positioned centrally, with the office space wrapping around the perimeter of the building to allow access to natural daylight and fresh air. Visual communication between the floors is provided by a covered atrium. Cooling and ventilation is optimised by the building management system, with windows individually controlled by occupants. A cantilevered zone above the entrance contains people-centred spaces, including green rooms, breakout spaces, meeting rooms and a cafe.
Noise-sensitive television studios might appear an unlikely candidate for natural ventilation, as external sounds are normally brought in along with the fresh air, but natural ventilation is key element of the design, expressed externally by a series of chimneys that give the building a deliberately industrial aesthetic. There are eight naturally ventilated studios, naturally ventilated offices for 1370 people and free-cooled data rooms for more than 400 computer servers.
The system is driven by waste heat from the studio lights, which which rises through the ventilation chimneys, at the same time drawing in cool, fresh external air through a series of sound attenuators into a plenum beneath the studios. When external conditions are inappropriate the studios can be mechanically ventilated and cooled.
Architect, engineer: Arup Associates; client qs: Gleeds; developer qs: Davis Langdon; landscape: Charles Funke Associates; main contractor: Bovis Lend Lease; developer: Stanhope; client: BSkyB, Stanhope.
ET25 February 2011 p14