BSkyB, Harlequin 1

  • The most sustainable broadcasting, studio and data-centre building of its type.

Harlequin 1 houses recording, post production and transmission facilities for Sky’s broadcast and sports news departments, including eight state-of-the-art, naturally-ventilated studios, naturally-ventilated offices and free-cooled data rooms.

The architecture of the building dramatically expresses the integrated and world-leading sustainable technology. The giant natural ventilation chimneys of the recording studios are revealed on the exterior of Harlequin 1, which some have likened to a new power station architecture for the21st century.

Despite its physical gravitas, Harlequin 1 is, within its genre, the most sustainable broadcasting, studio and data-centre building yet designed.

Whole-life sustainability

BSkyB’s brief for a world-leading, genuinely sustainable HQ has challenged Arup Associates to capture every viable natural resource on the site and to radically minimise energy use throughout.

Arup Associates’ interest in whole-life sustainability focuses on the human experience of a building. This philosophy has led directly to creating a highly effective and flexible layout at Harlequin 1 that is in keeping with the working culture at BSkyB.

Post-production and technical spaces are positioned centrally, with office space wrapping around the perimeter of the building to allow access to natural daylight and fresh air, as well as views outdoors and across floors.

The building atrium allows a visual communication between all levels, providing employees with a sense of scale and location. A cantilevered zone above the entrance contains a series of people-centred spaces, including green rooms, breakout zones, a cafe and meeting rooms.


Design book 2013 front cover
  • BSkyB Harlequin 1Open gallery

    The Harelquin 1 project sets an international benchmark for sustainable architecture in the world of broadcasting.