Sky Central opens in west London

A new flagship building for broadcasting giant Sky has opened in Osterley, west London.

Sky Central, a three-storey, 37,700 m² structure, will house 3,500 Sky employees and be the centrepiece of the company’s headquarters.

The building, set to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for sustainability, was created by a team featuring architects AL_A and PLP, technical designers Arup, workplace designers HASSELL and construction firms Mace and Como. The broadcaster originally specified “a unique building and activity-based workplace that would be responsive, inspiring, intuitive and amenity-rich”.

Sky Central boasts expansive lobby called ‘Sky Street’ with scattered meeting areas, a 4K cinema, a cashless supermarket, 415-seat restaurant and five cafes. The glass-walled, naturally-lit Sky News broadcast studio above the ground floor is central to the complex, while a large H-shaped atrium hosts all circulation routes, with timber ramps and staircases wrapped around two central mezzanines.

The building’s timber roof is one of the largest in Europe and the complex also features other green solutions such as rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, high-efficiency lighting and ventilation system.

Sky claims the design of the vast complex had made it possible to combine spaces that would otherwise be spanned across a 31 storeys high tower.

Sky’s workplace director Neil Usher said: “We’ve created a workplace that brings Sky colleagues together and enables them to do the very best work of their careers. It’s beautiful, functional, intuitive and inspiring, and marks a major step in our workplace journey.”

Andrew Jackson, construction project manager at Sky said: “Sky Central’s design provides Sky col-leagues and visitors with an inspiring and energising environment in which to work and meet. The use of vast open floor plates, large atria and mezzanines with a multitude of interconnecting ramps and stairs provide a unique experience.”

Wayne McKiernan, director at PLP Architecture, said: “The environment that we have designed supports Sky’s key values by promoting flexibility, openness, ease of access and communication through fostering the natural flow of both people and ideas throughout the elegant and innovative building.”

Andy Sedgwick, director at Arup, said: “It’s been a delight to help Sky with this important stage in the development of its business, and to deliver solutions that are fully aligned with Sky’s sustainability and staff well-being objectives.”