Condé Nast International

THE HEART OF CONDÉ NAST INTERNATIONAL’S NEW HQ

The overview

When Condé Nast International made the decision to move to new offices in London due to the expansion of its digital team, they wanted to create a cultural change and improve the way teams worked together.

Focus 21, now part of AVMI, worked with MiX Consultancy to create a media wall in the stairwell of the new office space to showcase clients digital imagery and provide a simple to control collaborative space.

What the ‘move team’ initially thought would be a space for large company meetings and to showcase their digital imagery, has evolved into a fully immersive space for the entire organisation with its own outlook calendar.

THE CHALLENGE

The client brief was to create an office environment that showcased its digital imagery, supported collaborative working and removed the silos often created within a working environment.

THE SOLUTION

Lead architect Deepak Parmar knew there was one product that would give Conde Nast International (CNI) the finish they needed, having seen the Christie Bricks at the London Stock Exchange.

Deepak explains, "We needed a product that would provide photo-like quality, fit into the restricted space we had to work with and allow for easy maintenance. Once we decided on the media wall, we wanted to create the illusion of the area being even larger. For this, we added a giant mirror on the ceiling above the new stairwell. The wall and the mirror have become the beating heart of the building, the mirror reflects both the digital canvas and the print library based next to the wall, which captures the very essence of Condé Nast's past and future."

Christie was chosen as the LED manufacturer due to their flexibility to provide design, support and installation services for CNI. Christie helped develop this solution from concept through to deployment and the result speaks for itself.

The goal was to create a simple user experience, the media wall had to be beautiful but also practical. To achieve this the technology solution needed to be intuitive, open, approachable and reactive, with interactive support for all, across all functions.

Lynnette Lawrance, CNI Project Manager, "You shouldn’t need loads of training, it should just work, the solution should be clear enough that my mum could do it. The interface is so straightforward that anyone can use it. We made the solution, so everyone in the office can link to it with their laptop but also any visitors could just share with their phone using Airmedia. The moment I knew we had achieved our goal was a couple of days after the wall had been installed, I came into the office and found a group of 30 people on the stairs using the screens to troubleshoot some code. I remember thinking, YES we’ve done it. Since then we have had to give The Well (as it is now known) its’ own Outlook Calendar as so many people are using it!"

Beside a detailed design for the space, Conde Nast International also wanted a solution that included IT Infrastructure, a wireless network and audio visual design. These designs were developed using the British standard of design, known as the RIBA stages. Phil Hallchurch, AV consultant at MiX Consultancy also used the AVIXA ANSI/INFOCOMM V202.01:2016 standard to ensure the screen gave the optimum image quality for the users.

Throughout the office, the same ‘it should just work’ concept has been implemented in each meeting room, reception area and breakout space, all being managed with an easy to use icon interface.

"Crestron was used throughout the office to provide best-in-breed video distribution and control, which helped keep the user experience the same no matter which meeting room was being used. The easy to use icon control panel meant that anyone, be it staff, guest or the cleaners (who have been known to use it to watch TV in the cafe) could operate the screens throughout the building" advised Phil Hallchurch, MiX Consultancy.

"The combination of a relevant creative approach to the content and an understanding of how CNI wanted to deliver that content, now and in the future, was fundamental to the success of this project," comments Alex Hughes, Co-founder, Amigo. "It's at this intersection, where great creative, innovative software design and unique hardware technology meets incredible content that delivers the results that can be seen on the CNI media wall."

THE RESULT

What the ‘move team’ initially thought would be a space for large company meetings and to showcase their digital imagery, has evolved into a fully immersive space for the entire organisation.

"The change has been amazing. It used to take me at least 20 minutes to set up company meetings, now it happens instantly. We’ve also used the area for company events and it’s so easy to put music on through Airmedia from someone’s phone or drop some images into the Dropbox. It makes company events more fun. The other thing I’ve noticed is how much closer its brought everyone. Often as you walk past a meeting on the stairs someone will ask your opinion on something they are showing on the screen, I love that I can get more involved which in turn has meant I have got to know more of my colleagues."

KEY BENEFITS

  • Simple to use icon display allowing easy connectivity for employees and visitors.
  • Removed silos by allowing employees to engage with other departments and share projects.
  • Beautiful centre piece that brings the oce space together.

The Well, as we call it, has created a connection between the editorial team and other employees, bridging the gap between each department and helping connect the generations. We use Dropbox to post Snap Chat images to the screen and it’s been great to get feedback from other staff who can get to see what we do and why we do it.

François de Montremy, Motion Graphics Designer, Vogue International, CNI Digital