Originally the space was a meeting room (in the 2001 plans), later adapted to house the studio. A plan was shared on the Pebble Mill facebook showing the original space, very BBC LDN inspired (it was 2000/2001!)
Off topic but the LDN studio wasn't intended to be their full time studio either. Originally it was for short bulletins only. The main programme was supposed to come from a training studio in the building behind. However they decided that not only was it unfeasible but also they liked how the bulletin space looked.
The original studio set up had some of the news room desks encroaching onto it