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BBC Broadcasting House World

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World, an artist-designed public space by Mark Pimlott, is one of three major external permanent artworks commissioned for BBC Broadcasting House. The role of the building as the BBC’s headquarters and the new home of the World Service provided the inspiration for Pimlott’s winning proposal for the Langham Street public space.


World represents a fragment of the globe, a portion of a huge sphere, its surface inset with lines indicating latitude and longitude, and engraved with names of places both known and obscure that evoke whole worlds in themselves. The lights set in the surface can be imagined as stars or cities; a discreet sound element in the languages of the places or cities inscribed is to be carefully programmed, linked to World Service output. World is a place to meet, listen to music, see radio and television personalities, witness and be part of the life of the building, on a casual day-to-day basis.


Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge, visits the work with Mark Pimlott. Watch the film here:


Beard describes this piece on her as, "her new favourite public art work of recent years".


World is part of the BBC Broadcasting House Public Art Programme, curated by Modus Operandi from 2002-2012. Fourteen artists were commissioned including Rachel Whiteread, Jaume Plensa, Martin Richman, Liz Rideal, Fiona Rae, William Furlong, Nick Danziger, John Riddy, Catherine Yass.


Mark Pimlott

Title of work





MJP Architects





Image credit

 © Mark Pimlott