Ashurst’s new London headquarters boasts a significant array of audiovisual and collaboration technologies that are reinventing the way their people work — helping it realise what calls a “once in a generation opportunity”.
Ashurst LLP is an international law firm with 1,600 partners and lawyers in 16 countries, and moved its London office to a new 275,000 sq ft site in Spitalfields. The objective was to create the best possible working environment for staff and an enhanced service for visiting clients.
The firm recognised the importance and contribution of a flexible working environment that would make the right technology accessible to all its people. The aim was to use the latest AV technology to improve productivity, interaction, collaboration and agility as a basis for reinventing the way the firm’s people could work.
Scope of the project
The new headquarters covers seven floors of the former London Fruit & Wool Exchange. The Grade A building features a mix of cellular and open plan workspaces, an impressive reception area, bespoke client meeting areas, a 120-seater auditorium, media suite, gym, and internal meeting and video conferencing rooms.
AV technology was key to the success of the new collaborative working environment. Video walls, digital signage, presentation and audio systems support internal and external communication throughout the building. Meeting rooms of different sizes feature a mix of audio and video conferencing and data presentation systems.
The solution was designed to create a consistent user experience throughout all meeting areas to encourage adoption and ensure users can make productive use of the AV facilities. An intuitive user interface and simple connectivity make equipment easy to use and support.
Electrosonic was responsible for AV implementation, migration, managed service and on-site support, working in partnership with main contractor Structure Tone led by Divisional Director, Tony Milsom and PTS Consulting to deliver Ashurst’s vision and requirements.
Electrosonic’s services covered the engineering, systems build and integration, speciality projection, audio and acoustics, digital communications, media walls, content distribution and audiovisual control systems. To ensure availability and reliability Electrosonic also provides ongoing support for all audiovisual systems managed by a team of three on-site Electrosonic specialists – led by an AV manager who also provides support globally.
Electrosonic contributed expertise in the deployment and integration of the advanced collaboration and audiovisual technologies required together with long experience in delivering large-scale projects on time and on budget.
The major challenge was the sheer scale of a diverse AV installation across seven floors. Electrosonic had to ensure that all equipment was deployed for maximum availability and reliability and ease of control. Despite significant differences in audiovisual complexity between sophisticated installations in the auditorium and simple huddle spaces, all equipment had to provide a consistent user experience.
In meeting rooms, for example, Electrosonic had to integrate many different types of professional audiovisual equipment into software-based conferencing platforms. In the auditorium, which can be sectioned off to create multiple areas for different functions, Electrosonic had to ensure that projection, audio and control systems could accommodate the agility of the space and use.
The auditorium is a flexible, high-impact feature space that provides multimedia presentation facilities for a wide variety of events and uses, including prestigious business-critical meetings, internal and external client presentations, town hall events, group training and conferences. It includes a very large video wall and large-format LCD display, four repeat screens to maximise presentation visibility and audio clarity – supported by surround sound and sophisticate control desk.
A dedicated media suite provides comprehensive multi-camera shooting and full green screen facilities with a flexible lighting grid system and control desk.
The reception space is equipped with multiple screens and large format displays to display wayfinding, corporate messaging, real-time notifications, TV channels and live streams from other areas.
According to press reports, there’s a buzz around the new environment with employees claiming that the collaboration facilities are changing the way they work and making flexible working easier and more acceptable. The many different types of meeting and training spaces provide employees with the technology they need for collaboration and innovation to drive the business forward through enhanced teamwork, more opportunities to share ideas and greater agility.
The technology also provides an enhanced experience for clients visiting the building. Client meeting areas are fully equipped with sophisticated conferencing and presentation systems, while the auditorium, reception and event areas provide high impact experiences to impress and inform visitors.
Ruth Harris, London office managing partner at Ashurst, said, “This is an exciting move for us and we look forward to welcoming our clients to the London Fruit & Wool Exchange. The building and our enhanced technology provides us with an opportunity to re-invent how we work, facilitating improved well-being, agile working and collaboration as well as an enhanced service for our clients.”