Advanced audio visual office development

posted on Monday, 13th February 2012 by David Slater

Installs  Commercial 

When Markit, a leading global financial information services company, decided to relocate its UK headquarters, the job of installing new audio visual systems throughout its new building fell to audio visual integration specialist Smartcomm.

The task was complex and the deadline tight. Markit required three video conferencing rooms, more than two dozen formal and informal meeting spaces, a team room, auditorium and boardroom, running across two-floors, all to be fitted out within a 12 week timeframe.

Smartcomm decided early on to specify Crestron's MPC-M10 media presentation controller (MPC) throughout the company's 29 meeting spaces. This wall-mounted multimedia controller offers simple but versatile functionality. 

Not only does it offer AV and environmental control in each room, it also works with Crestron's RoomView remote room management software which enables users to maintain and track AV usage in each location. Having the ability to remotely switch off any unused air conditioning, lighting and VC or projector system helps keep running costs down and preserves the life of hardware.

One key location proved to be the so-called Enhanced Video Conferencing Room. This features a dual 46-inch HD video-conferencing system, with desk-mounted camera and audio control. Main system control is handled by a Crestron wireless touch panel. Other rooms were equipped with LCD screens, network connectivity, Polycom flush-mounted speakers and video conferencing facilities.

At the heart of the new Markit HQ is the Auditorium. A 12m wide central atrium that encompasses two floors,  characterised by a built-in staircase that doubles as a seating area.

Markit wanted a screen to be displayed in full view of this seating, but it could not interfere with the surrounding walkways.  Its main purpose was to enable directors to address the UK office, but it also had to have the ability to broadcast to all 16 Markit offices around the world.

The solution was a 103-inch Panasonic plasma display, suspended 4.5m in the air, encased in a wooden frame. Two additional 40-inch LCD screens were mounted in the corners of the auditorium, with the ability to display the same source or work independently (perhaps so that a diagram or image could be displayed separately). A broadcast-quality Panasonic AW-HE100 HD camera was installed in the ceiling, to capture the speaker.

The Boardroom install was equally ambitious. All 28 seats around the company board table required a control plate with integrated microphones and VC camera system. Five motorised pods with integrated 19-inch monitors repeat the display from the main screen, another 103-inch plasma. 

A less imposing installation proved to be the Team Room, an informal space for internal meetings and discussions. Here Smartcomm fitted a Smartboard interactive whiteboard projection screen, along with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards for written notes and ideas. AV was once again handled by a Crestron panel.

One additional request was for a wall mounted screen that resembled an iPad. Not one to turn down a challenge, Smartcomm installed a plasma screen surrounded by bespoke joinery with piano black gloss surround and curved corners. The end result was an impressive representation of a landscape iPad that can be clearly seen from surrounding offices.

System Designer: Mark Allen

Cost of project: £640,000

Project Duration: 3 Months



A bit about Smartcomm...

Smartcomm is a UK based specialist Audio Visual, Communications & Controls Integration Company which has continually been at the forefront of the industry. We have years of experience in designing and installing solutions that seamlessly integrate the latest technologies into a wide range of environments, including corporate, retail, hotel, leisure and residential developments, to fulfil every possible requirement.


3 Barnes Wallis Court

Wellington Road

Cresses Business Park


HP12 3PS

Tel: 01494 471912


David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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Posted by James Middleton on 13rd February 2012, 10:56 PM
What a great team room, just love the sky painted ceiling.
Posted by Catherine Jones on 14th February 2012, 4:13 PM
Thanks James, My favourite room is the auditorium with the steps/seating combo!

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