07 Sep Fox International in London: mission (almost) impossible!
In trendy urban contexts, where studios and post facilities are to be these days, it’s always quite a challenge to sneak into the right spaces the “pro audio” area. Because we must not forget geometry is very important. London, UK – Hammersmith, summer 2014. Fox International Channels UK (now Fox Networks Group) moves its headquarters of a few blocks. And, in the new building, built and thought for high-end modern offices, they take the third floor.
The space assigned for the construction of two ITU-compliant, 5.1 mixing rooms sharing a vocal booth and an Avid editing room with mixing 5.1 in ITU-compliancy is not much larger than 40 sm, not wide but long, running against the risers and the elevators’ column.
The brief is tough: little room, granted on the edge of an open space office, very busy and the need for total sound isolation, considering they’ll be mixing at high volumes there and will be making voice recordings. Not only: shape of the space allows to move along one side only, there is no way we can have the 2/3 ratio normally needed for control rooms.
We therefore invented the binoculars 🙂 to save the day we managed to fit in little more than 20 sm two 5.1 ITU-compliant mixing rooms, sharing a vocal booth.
Il tempo a disposizione? Due settimane
Timing was very tight. We had less than two weeks to build up all rooms, starting from their isolation shell. We therefore invented the studio… in a box 🙂 Structures and joinery (skirting boards, diffuseres, frames) were tailor-made in our lab, in Italy. We pre-assembled the rooms off site and checked every detail. Then, we optimized their boxing for shipping, making ad hoc wooden crates.
We arrived on construction site with our dedicated shipping lorry, from Italy, on Jan 2nd: with one trip we brought along all the equipment we needed along with all necessary materials to make the studios happen, including polyester fibre, doors, along with a large acoustic sliding door, windows, consoles, etc.
The rest of the floor / office was almost done already, including furniture and carpeting – we actually “dexterized” the environment to protect it from accidental damages.
In this particular situation we were asked to supply the loudspeakers’ system for all rooms – Genelec.
Even consoles couldn’t be anything but custom, given the space – we had to think about sound absorbing inserts for “the wings” to fight first reflections, due to the rooms’ shape.
Cabling and wiring to be hosted into the acoustic treatment was such that installing of corrugated tubes for it required more than one manual operation of… simplifying 🙂
Pre-produced and pre-mounted structures saved our lives. Here, i.e., the assembling and installation of the “backbone” of the acoustic treatment on the ceiling and its finishing.
We did it!
We completely fullfilled all requests. Fox’s new facility was up and running in good time. You can find all project’s photos here!
Here we are!
From the left, Maurizio Raffaeli, Director Broadcast Operations Italy, Germany and UK of Fox Networks Group;
Donato Masci, the Acoustic Designer; Francesca Bianco, our CEO and Proaudio Project Manager and Fulvio Zaid, Technical Manager of Fox Networks Group.