03rd Nov 2010

BP: best tall building in the world?

Is this the best tall building in the world? According to a leading authority, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Leeds Metropolitan University’s Broadcasting Place (home to Leeds Met’s Media staff and students) is 2010′s finest architectural erection (no Freudian slip intended). Affectionately (or otherwise) referred to by the locals as that rusty-coloured block or that discarded rubik’s cube prototype or that thing that looks like the old Mastermind board game, BP, quite literally overnight, has been transformed - in the eagle eyes of Leeds folk – into that top towerthat Pride of Yorkshirethat Great Northern Thingamabob, that… Chip Off the Rusty Old Block. Eee-bye-gum!

To be frank, and based on purely unscientific gathering of random anecdotes, people are warming to BP – and not just since its new-found, heady-heights status. The building is, strange but true, absorbing itself into the misty heritage and urban-sprawl splendour of a typical English autumn.

What seems to have been ignored/forgotten in all the recent media hype, though, is the historical significance of the site on which BP was built. But rest assured! One of those bright blue signs that usually destroy the oldy-worldiness of your average heritage site is here to inform us that BP is a signed-sealed-and-approved monument to the grander scheme of human evolution – of the media and film variety that is. (After all, that’s why it’s called BP.) 

And if inventing the movies was not enough, BP is also located on the site of one of the BBC’s first broadcasting houses built outside London. Old Broadcasting House, no longer used by the BBC, runs alongside BP, and one of its old relics – a huge stone plaque commemorating BBC founder John Reith’s famous peace-keeping prophecy that NATION SHALL SPEAK PEACE UNTO NATION – has been attached, quite tastefully, to the new build.

Lest we forget (amidst the hype)… the best-est tall building in the world really is a genuine global media milestone.

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