Thai developer named preferred bidder as British Film Institute seeks investor for flagship new home

The British Film Institute (BFI) has confirmed Thailand’s PACE Development Corporation is its preferred bidder to fund its planned International Centre for Film, TV and the Moving Image on London’s South Bank.

A BFI representative told CLAD the organisation is “now in contract negotiations” with the developer, which impressed “following a procurement process for process to test the market for investors.”

The institute wants to create a flagship national home for the British film industry on the site of a car park near its current cinema venue along the River Thames.

If built, the complex will feature a giant zoetrope and camera obscura; three multi-format cinemas; an education and research centre; a public archive storing the world’s biggest film collection; a holographic and virtual reality storytelling attraction; a major gallery space showcasing the best of British cinema and exhibiting memorabilia from the industry; and public spaces including specially commissioned moving image installations.

The centre would host world premieres, film restorations, live music events and presentations showcasing emerging visual technologies.

The BFI has previously said the project will cost £130m (US$156.8m, €148m). It claimed in June last year that an unidentified developer approached the institute offering to provide £87m (US$105m, €99m) for the building’s design, creation and partial fit-out. The identity of that interested investor has not been confirmed.

In return for investment, the BFI is offering naming rights for the building, exclusivity of food and beverage offerings in the venue and partial repayment of the funding over a period of time.

PACE Development is best known internationally for funding Bangkok’s “pixelated” MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok. The Architect’s Journal has reported that that project’s architect, Ole Scheeren, is PACE’s choice of designer for the BFI building, which would be his first in the UK.

The BFI told CLAD that it will not make any further comment on the project until the contract negotiations are complete.

The institute’s CEO, Amanda Nevill, has previously argued that British filmmakers deserve a new home “that will express our optimism, our confidence and our excitement about Britain’s leading role in the future of film, television and the moving image at home and internationally.” The project has won support from the likes of Helen Mirren, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba.

British Film Institute  London  South Bank  culture  architecture  design  PACE Development  Ole Scheeren 
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The British Film Institute (BFI) has confirmed Thailand’s PACE Development Corporation is its preferred bidder to fund its planned International Centre for Film, TV and the Moving Image on London’s South Bank. A BFI representative told CLAD the organisation is “now in contract negotiations” with the developer, which impressed “following a procurement process for process to test the market for investors.” The institute wants to create a flagship national home
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The BFI wants to build its new home on London's South Bank, near the London Eye / BFI
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