Real es­tate

White City, the West Lon­don ward be­hind the West­field shop­ping cen­tre, was once a glam­orous in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tion. Tara Loader Wilkin­son learns more about the £8 bil­lion makeover that is re­turn­ing it to its glory days

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

An £8 bil­lion makeover is re­turn­ing West Lon­don’s White City to its glory days

hun­dred years ago, White City was the place to be. The UK hosted its first Olympic Games here in 1908 in a fu­tur­is­tic sta­dium. The buzz led to a se­ries of must­see ex­hi­bi­tions in sparkling white mar­ble pavil­ions that gave the area its name. In the post-war era, White City fell into an in­dus­trial mi­asma un­til the 1960s, when it be­came the home of the BBC’S rev­o­lu­tion­ary TV stu­dios.

The ques­tion mark-shaped BBC Tele­vi­sion Cen­tre was the largest in the world, ri­valling Hol­ly­wood in its hey­day. Known as “a fac­tory for TV,” it pro­duced a slew of hit shows such as Monty Python, Doc­tor Who, Strictly Come Danc­ing, Blue Peter and Fawlty Tow­ers.

In 2011, cost-cut­ting mea­sures forced the BBC to put its iconic head­quar­ters on the block. In many ways, it couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time. A joint ven­ture be­tween UK devel­oper Stan­hope and Ja­pan’s Mit­sui Fu­dosan snapped up the 5.6-hectare site for £200 mil­lion, with plans to trans­form it into lux­ury flats and of­fices while re­tain­ing many of the orig­i­nal fea­tures. “We are bring­ing to life these iconic and much-loved build­ings to cre­ate a great place to live, work and visit,” says Peter Allen, a di­rec­tor at Stan­hope.

The £1 bil­lion re­vamp will trans­form the cen­tre into 950 lux­ury apart­ments, 500,000 square feet of of­fice space and a 47-room a new Soho House bou­tique ho­tel. Due for com­ple­tion in 2018, prices of the flats start at

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