For many years White City was a part of London set apart due to road layouts, lack of amenities, and a public perception of the area centred on the BBC, Westfield, or nothing at all.
With the redevelopment of multiple sites by developer Stanhope, and the arrival of Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, there was a new potential for the area to become a thriving technology and creative hub within London.
Our challenge was to bring together different partners around practical interventions and an editorial programme to leverage everyones contributions to the development of the area – and get noticed by a bigger and broader audience.
An online platform called White Noise sat at the heart of the project. This was managed locally in collaboration with groups ranging from White City Residents Associations to the Royal College of Art. Over the course of 3 years it brought together local talent with internationally recognised journalists and creatives to tell unexpected stories about this hidden corner of west London and generate interest in the area.
The White Noise website was accompanied by creation and distribution of the first comprehensive map of the White City area and a free newspaper magazine along with over 100 events involving thousands of local participants, ranging from pop-up exhibitions to live concerts in a condemned tower block.
Something More Near also coordinated several longer-term projects with local groups to enhance the area including the £3million redevelopment of a derelict petrol station into a contemporary art space with Elephant Magazine and the installation of a pioneering music technology project in a former BBC staff disco led by West London icon Jai Paul (XL Records). We also led a series of high profile creative commissions within the area including a seemingly impossible project with Turner-nominated artist Catherine Yass to suspend a grand piano above the BBC Television Centre.
In addition to broader promotion of the neighbourhood, the Something More Near team worked on the relaunch of Television Centre - Stanhope’s redevelopment of the BBC’s historic home that retained its active role as a television studio whilst opening up the site to a range of public uses including a cinema, upmarket flats and the first west London expansion of Soho House. As well this the scheme had to retain the BBC live recording studios and public access. Our work included development of a comprehensive brand platform including name, brand architecture, visual identity, comms strategy and ‘meanwhile’ activation.
David Camp – CEO, Stanhope