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An Animated Timeline Of The BDC

11.09.2019 An Animated Timeline Of The BDC

The history of the BDC building tells a rich and interesting tale of enterprise, evolution and expansion.

From its humble beginnings back in 1862, this iconic hall in the heart of Islington has hosted royalty, bingo, agricultural shows and thousands of exhibitions over the years. And now, the history of the BDC building has been brought to life with a stunning animation on display in the foyer of this incredible Islington stalwart.

Why animation?

One of the first things visitors notice as they enter the BDC building is the set of twin escalators that wind their way from the ground floor to the mezzanine level that overlooks the exhibition space. With Angel tube station nearby boasting the longest escalator across the London underground network, the BDC team wanted to evoke a similar feeling to that of its nearby neighbour. And what is more synonymous with tube station escalators than animated advertising boards? 

The goal was to adorn the escalators within the BDC building with an animation showing the history of the building, whilst celebrating its many changes over the years. To achieve this goal, the BDC team enlisted the help of The Animation Guys, an innovative animation company who run their business from rented office space at the BDC. The Animation Guys have already created mesmerising animations for businesses of all sizes, across many industries. And, based within the BDC, they’re already very familiar with our escalators in the main foyer! So, they set about the challenge of bringing our history to life with a wonderful story-telling animation.

Bringing the history of the BDC building to the 21st century...

The BDC building has seen an extraordinary amount of change over the past 157 years. Today, the interior of the building is modern, light and BUSY! There’s a constant buzz of conversation and movement as people make their way around the centre, attending shows, networking or coming into work at one of the many offices available to rent at the BDC. In the spirit of constant motion, we set to work on our project, to bring the feel of London underground advertising boards to the BDC building. The animation needed to be eye catching and tell a story, without becoming dull or too information heavy. We settled on nine screens, evenly spaced up the length of the escalators, showing the highlights of the BDC’s developing history over the years.

We also needed to decide which highlights from the history of the BDC building we would focus on and include within the animation. The animation begins with a brief nod to the building’s agricultural history - a flashback to its original purpose of hosting farming shows back in the 1800s. The scenes then touch upon the building’s evolution to becoming a postal hub in the second world war and occasional bingo hall in the 1970s, before the film flashes to a time when the BDC was derelict for many years. 

The animation cuts to the 1980s when Sam Morris added to the history of the BDC building by buying it and refurbishing the space to its current form. A brief cameo by Margaret Thatcher takes us to 1987 when the Iron Lady opened the Business Design Centre as it’s known today; a modern conference and exhibition centre in London with a beautiful design and up to the minute technology. 

The animated screens also feature other famous faces such as Princess Diana, who opened a New Designers exhibition in 1988, and ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair. 

You can watch the finished product below!

Business Design Centre - Motion Graphics Installation from The Animation Guys on Vimeo.

Moving on up

The final result is a stunning animated journey through the history of the BDC building, with a beautiful design that captures the building’s modernisation throughout the years. The animated screens complement the building’s modern interior and bring movement and life that attracts the attention of anyone who makes their way up the escalator towards the upper level of the BDC. Best of all, the animation has been created as a sort of timelapse video, with each video picking up where the last left off, as visitors make their way up the escalators, rather than simply seeing the same animation played on repeat.

Now, anyone who visits the BDC building and hops on the moving staircase can see a piece of history unfold before their eyes!

If you’re interested in finding out more about upcoming exhibitions in London, or you’d like to enquire about renting office space at the BDC, get in touch or visit our ‘About’ page..