The Offices

The Offices

On each of the seven office floors the accommodation includes a panelled committee room for departmental meetings. On the third floor its place is taken by the official Board Room, in which the Governors of the B.B.C. meet. Next to it on the south is the office of the Chairman, while that of the Director-General is in the centre of the south front facing down Upper Regent Street, with a balcony opening on to it. These offices and those of other senior officials are uniformly panelled in light oak, and are provided with furniture selected by the designers of the decoration of the studios. The offices themselves are so arranged that the various branches of the organisation are, as far as possible, accommodated on separate floors; the first floor being devoted to the larger administrative offices, such as the General Office (where most of the typing is done); the Registry (where the post is sorted and files are kept); and the internal printing and duplicating rooms. The General Office in particular is a big sunny office arranged on modern lines. 

Fifth Floor

Diagram of the fifth floor
Shelves filled with gramophone records and sheet music
50 ❧ The Music Library, said to be the largest in the world. It contains music of every kind, from manuscript parts of Bach cantatas to the latest comic song. It has an orchestral library of 10,500 works, military band parts for 4,000 pieces, and 32,000 copies of vocal scores of every kind.
A staircase
51 ❧ The Staircase within the 'Tower', giving access to the artists' lifts and the studio corridors.

Fourth Floor

Diagram of the forth floor
A circular chair in front of a streamlined desk
53 ❧ The Office of the Director of Programmes. Photograph by Arthur Gill.
Curvy desks around the walls of two rooms
54 ❧ Studio 4B on the right, and on the left the News Editor's cubicle, where he is able to prepare late items of news before passing them through to the Announcer during the reading of the bulletin.
A round microphone in a square frame, bouncing from the wall on a scissor-like projection
55 ❧ The Microphone in Studio 4A, showing its 'lazy-tongs' suspension.
A ceiling with stars, clouds and a cross symbol
56 ❧ The Gallery and Ceiling of the Religious Studios, 3E. This photograph is by Shaw Wildman.

Third Floor

Diagram of the third floor
A room with alcoves - one bright - desks and chairs and a large clock
58 ❧ Studio 3E for Religious Services, looking toward the central recess, lighted so as to produce an effect of infinite distance. On secular occasions the recess contains a vase of flowers; for religious services the shadow of a cross is projected on to the white background.

59 ❧ Statue of St. George, which occupies a niche to the left of the grand piano in the picture above. It is the work of Mr. Vernon Hill.

A tall room with a piano, desk and many chairs
60 ❧ Studio 3E, looking towards the balcony. The table in the right foreground is for the use of choirs engaged in the services. Photograph by Arthur Gill.
A tall empty room
61 ❧ Studio 3A, where the Children's Hour is conducted. The window at the top is that of the Silence Room shown later.
A cozy room with a curtained window, rugs, a desk and a mantleshelf.
62 ❧ Studio 3B, for Talks.
A colour picture of a cozy carpeted room with a bookcase, a curtained window, a round table and two easy chairs
63 ❧ Studio 3D, for Talks.
A room with a dummy fireplace, bookcases, ornaments and a round table with a microphone and a book stand
64 ❧ Another view. There are three Talks Studios; this one is designed to give the talker the feeling of being in a study or library. Note the picture of George Washington over the fireplace, indicating the use of this studio for some of the special talks to America. The chair used in this studio is one in which the late Mr. Arnold Bennett wrote many of his works. The Colour Plate shows another view, that looking towards the 'window'.
A curtained room with a rug, a sofa, a chair, a standard lamp and a free-standing ashtray
65 ❧ The Third Floor Waiting Room Lounge, attached to the Talks Studios.
A small room with a chair, a desk and a microphone
66 ❧ The Silence Room, attached to Studio 3A, where announcements can be made (e.g. during a change of programme) without the necessity of enforcing silence in the studio.
A office with a fitted desk with two telephones surrounded by 5 chairs in 3 different styles
67 ❧ The Chairman's Office.
A room with wooden walls, a fireplace and an ornate desk with one commanding chair and one basic chair
68 ❧ The Director-General's Office.
A busy office with men and women working around double-sided desks
69 ❧ One of the Accounts Offices.

First Floor

Diagram of the first floor
A view from the stairs looking at lift doors and further stairs
75 ❧ The First Floor Landing, showing the staircase up to the Council Chamber and the Staff Lifts.
Two curved tables, one long, one short, surrounded by upholstered chairs
76 ❧ The Council Chamber. A general view, showing the walls panelled in Tasmanian oak, the indirect lighting, and the furniture. The tables are made of Queensland walnut of a dark grey colour. In height the Council Chamber occupies one and a half floors, the entrance being on a level half-way between the first and second floors.
Rows of desks, each with a woman behind a typewriter
77 ❧ The General Typing Office on the first floor, with windows looking onto Portland Place.
Armless upholstered chairs around a glass-topped table
78 ❧ The First Floor Committee Room.

Ground Floor

Diagram of the ground floor
A wide space with square pillars and a mosaic floor
80 ❧ The Entrance Hall, looking from the corner by the staircase towards the doors.

81 ❧ The Entrance Hall, looking towards the staircase at the Portland Place corner of the Hall. The staff lifts are shown in the centre of the picture, the door into the Artists’ Foyer being just behind the right-hand pillar. The Latin inscription, with its translation, reads as follows:




This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.

A stylised statue of a man sowing by broadcast
82 ❧ 'The Sower', by Eric Gill. The photograph shows the sculpture before the finishing touches have been added.
A bright open space with square pillars
83 ❧ The Artists' Foyer, showing (behind the pillars) one of the lifts for taking artists to the various studio floors. The photograph is by Arthur Gill.
Noticeboards reading 'LONDON REGIONAL' and 'REHEARSALS'
84 ❧ The other side of the Foyer, showing the Studio Notification Boards facing the lifts and the Entrance Hall door.
Comfortable chairs in a room with picture windows
85 ❧ The Drawing Room: the chairs are upholstered in green leather to match the pale green carpet. The tables are made of Padauk, an Indian wood of a reddish colour with a grain resembling mahogany.