As a world-leading engineering firm, fast-growing Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B) needed more space within their current location. Determined to use their own resources, JB&B pulled together an internal AV design team and set to work on a fast-paced renovation and tech upgrading project that would happen concurrent to day-to-day business.
Since the new space would serve as a showcase for the firm’s AV technology capabilities, JB&B’s AV design team needed to include only the best. They started with technology categories rather than specific manufacturers.
An immediate issue facing the design team: How do you design AV systems for users with varying levels of technical knowhow, from low/indifferent to those whose comfort with complex systems includes customising their experience?
AV systems in the new space would also need to be flexible enough to accommodate students and instructors of JB&B University, their in-house professional development program. With widely varying class sizes, the space also needed to be physically adaptable.
Another challenge: How do you design a space that is mostly used for small, intimate gatherings that can also accommodate occasional meetings that include the entire firm? The space should be bright and open, yet allow for large images to be projected during meetings.
Finally, with a work force dispersed over a large area, the team had to include AV technology that would encourage collaboration among the firm’s numerous disciplines. The right system would be both user-friendly and able to accommodate the highly technical nature of various engineering teams’ work.
The new space
The new space is a testament to simplicity, flexibility and comfort in design. One example is the ‘Augie Room’, named after the firm’s managing director. A ‘town hall’-type meeting space, it’s an inviting and comfortable place to sit, chat and enjoy a great view of downtown New York. The space also easily transforms to accommodate regular firm-wide meetings that use large-screen projection, with multiple zones of sound reinforcement and remote collaborators.
The Christie solution
The Augie Room’s bright, open nature required a projection system with enough brightness to overcome high levels of ambient light, and enough contrast to accurately share engineering drawings and renderings in the firm’s presentations. After careful evaluation and testing, JB&B’s design team chose Christie GS Series laser phosphor projection. A flexible projection control system provides pre-set scenarios and the ability to customise AV devices and the room’s environment. After thorough testing, JB&B’s AV design team chose Christie’s interactive LCD displays for almost every meeting space, to help foster the company’s collaborative work environment.
A focal point in JB&B’s main lobby is a video wall made up of Christie ultra narrow bezel 55” LCD panels. High resolution images of finished projects and artist renderings of future projects highlight JB&B’s innovative work around the world. A digital signage player that can be remotely accessed is used to upload images and pertinent information about the day’s activities.
Thanks to flexible and innovative AV technology, JB&B’s new space is a hit with employees, clients, visitors, JB&B University students and instructors alike. People especially love the highly automated functions included in many of the spaces. Press a button and you can activate any number of pre-set AV configurations that changes the lighting and starts a program.
“The hope was that the rooms and AV systems would inspire clients to replicate our approach in their facilities,” says Bruce Manning, JB&B’s AV design engineer. “From the feedback we’ve gotten, all indications are that we’ve been very successful.”