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Researching underground

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Having previously fitted out a former Territorial Army Drill Hall in Farringdon, London, as offices for corporate-design company Rufus Leonard, Bisset Adams has now transformed the basement into a digital-media research laboratory, where Rufus Leonard's clients can test new ways of communicating via video, ethernet and Internet. As the basement was previously reached by a side escape stair, and had no natural light, the first stage of the project involved opening up a shaft through the ground floor, and installing a new staircase. The area at the base of the staircase has become a reception area, with glazed screens providing views and natural daylight from the top-lit main building.

The brief called for a conference area with audio-visual equipment and a flexible media space with suspended lighting rafts, spotlights and a grid of power and data points for varying computer/AV layouts. Three zones are included in the media space - Home Zone, Office Zone and Tech Zone. Curved screens which can be plugged into either the ceiling power grid or skirting-level perimeter power points provide fluid borders between the different zones. A communications room with windows onto the media space provides opportunities for visual observation and technical support.

A highly flexible space, the laboratory has been designed to change as technology evolves.

CREDITS

CLIENT Rufus Leonard

ARCHITECT Bisset Adams

MAIN CONTRACTOR AB Construction UK

JOINERY MANUFACTURE Stringers

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