BBC Pacific Quay
Cidhe a' Chuain Shèimh
BBC Pacific Quay, with the SEC Armadillo reflected in its glass facade
General information
TypeTelevision and radio studios
Architectural stylePost-modern
AddressPacific Quay, Pacific Drive, Glasgow, G51 1DA
Coordinates55°51′29″N 4°17′27″W / 55.8580°N 4.2909°W / 55.8580; -4.2909
Current tenantsBBC One Scotland
BBC Scotland
BBC Alba
BBC Radio Scotland
BBC Radio nan Gàidheal
Opened20 September 2007
Cost£72 million
OwnerBBC Scotland
Technical details
Floor count6
Design and construction

BBC Pacific Quay (Scottish Gaelic: Cidhe a' Chuain Shèimh) is the headquarters of BBC Scotland, serving as its main television and radio studio complex, situated at Pacific Quay, Glasgow, Scotland.[1]

Opened by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 20 September 2007, the building was designed by architect David Chipperfield to feature an all glass facade which would change throughout the day, as well as different seasons and from various vantage points from across Pacific Quay.[2] Within the building internally, a "stepped street" design rises throughout the entire length of BBC Pacific Quay. This design allows opportunities to employees to enter into break-out spaces, together with a range of different meeting areas.[3]

A range of production and filming for BBC Scotland takes place at BBC Pacific Quay, including Reporting Scotland, Frontline Scotland and Sportscene.


The BBC had outgrown their old headquarters in Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow.[4] The need to move to a new location was also in part due to changing technology, with the network having a "desire to move with the times beyond a less than fit for purpose HQ to a new building which would avail us of the latest digital technology to offer improved quality to audiences".[5] In July 1999 the BBC announced that around 800 staff would be moving to a new building that would be located at Pacific Quay.[6] The BBC held a competition to design a new building with more than seventy companies attracted. By March 2001 there was a shortlist of seven entries.[7]

The £72 million project on the River Clyde in Glasgow was designed by David Chipperfield Architects, but Keppie Architects took control in late 2004.[8] It is home to the biggest TV recording space to be built in Scotland and has an area of 782 m2 (8,420 sq ft) with a new retractable stand seating for 320 audience members, although the studio can sit a maximum audience of 338 people. Upon its completion, BBC Pacific Quay was the "most advanced state-of-the-art broadcast centre in Europe".[9] The design of the building allowed certain services to be offered by the network for the first time, such as live music, due to the increase in space available to the network to produce additional programming. Live music segments, entitled The Quay Sessions are recorded and produced via a pop-up studio located in the reception area of the building.[10][11]

During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Jeremy Vine broadcast from The Street within the building, using the "latest graphic gadgets". Election results for the Scottish Parliament, as well as Scottish results for UK General Elections are broadcast from BBC Pacific Quay.[12] The complexes Studio A is the largest television recording space in Scotland, and the second largest television studio within the British Isles.[13]

It is the only BBC location which allows opportunities for the combination of all of the BBC’s media services including TV, radio and online, linking BBC Pacific Quay with other BBC centres around Scotland.[14]


BBC Pacific Quay is located within the Pacific Quay area of Glasgow, alongside the cities historic shipping docks. Situated within an "exposed area of land", architectural firm responsible for its design, David Chipperfield Architects, said that the building "needed to assert its own sense of place and satisfy the brief that called for an enclosed yet publicly accessible building which would allow visibility of the BBC at work while maintaining tight security".[15]

The studios are located adjacent to the Glasgow Science Centre, across the river from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the OVO Hydro, and adjacent to the studios of commercial broadcaster STV. The new building is one of the most modern digital broadcasting facilities in the world, complete with the BBC's first HD-capable newsroom.


Television studio facilities based at BBC Pacific Quay were rebranded as "Street @ BBC Scotland" in 2018.[16]

There are three main television studios based at BBC Pacific Quay:

In addition, the Quay stage studio is used to host musical performances in front of a studio audience; acts have included KT Tunstall, Texas and The Fratellis.[17][18][19] The central feature of the complex is used to record interviews, host political programming and transmit webcasts such as Authors Live.[20]

The complex also houses facilities needed for television productions, such as nine dressing rooms, large green rooms, audience lounge, make up, wardrobe, production offices and full studio technical support services.[21][22][23]

The complex also houses six radio studios used for BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and other radio stations.


Productions to be filmed at BBC Pacific Quay include The Weakest Link, Mrs Browns Boys, Impossible, Unbeatable, Get Set Galactic, The Hit List, Picture Slam, Richard Osman's House of Games, Catch Point, Sex Rated and Pop Master for Channel 4.[24]


  1. ^ "Pacific Quay". Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  2. ^ "Pacific Quay". Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Pacific Quay". Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  4. ^ "Licence to thrill". The Herald. 30 June 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Ten years at Pacific Quay for BBC Scotland". BBC. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  6. ^ "BBC Scotland set for riverside move". BBC News. 22 July 1999. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Architect for BBC building goes to the 'jury'". The Herald. 30 March 2001. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  8. ^ Rose, Steve (8 October 2007). "Box clever". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Ten years at Pacific Quay for BBC Scotland". BBC. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  10. ^ "Ten years at Pacific Quay for BBC Scotland". BBC. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  11. ^ "BBC Radio Scotland - The Quay Sessions". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  12. ^ "Ten years at Pacific Quay for BBC Scotland". BBC. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  13. ^ "Case Study 30 – BBC Pacific Quay". A&DS Materials Library. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  14. ^ "Case Study 30 – BBC Pacific Quay". A&DS Materials Library. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  15. ^ "BBC Scotland Headquarters". David Chipperfield Architects. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  16. ^ "BBC Scotland Street".
  17. ^ BBC Music (16 September 2016). "KT Tunstall - Maybe It's A Good Thing (The Quay Sessions)" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ BBC (4 June 2015). "Texas - Black Eyed Boy (The Quay Sessions)" – via YouTube.
  19. ^ BBC (13 August 2015). "The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger (The Quay Sessions)" – via YouTube.
  20. ^ "Alex T Smith". BBC Music Events.
  21. ^ "BBC - Studio A - About BBC Scotland".
  22. ^ "BBC - Studio C - About BBC Scotland".
  23. ^ "BBC - Studio support - About BBC Scotland".
  24. ^ "BBC Scotland Studios". Film Bang. Retrieved 1 April 2024.

Media related to BBC Scotland Glasgow at Wikimedia Commons