Imperial College Installs A White Mark Room

Vacant space on the top floor of Imperial College London’s Central Library in South Kensington, London, has been redeveloped to form a new creative space for members of the College’s Communications Division.

A key facet of this project was the installation of a television studio and editing suite, which was designed by acoustic specialists White Mark Ltd and installed by Wire Broadcast. It is equipped with a Media 100 HDe nonlinear editing suite with centrally racked playback facilities for Betacam, U-Matic, VHS and DVD. Vision mixing is provided in the editing suite which is linked to the studio for multi-camera working using Sony DSR 450 cameras. Media encoding/streaming is also achieved within the facility with options for Real Player and Flash formats.

The new studio enables the College to film and record interviews with academic researchers, create promotional material for prospective students and generate content for the web. It also allows the College’s media relations team to offer an internal media training facility.

Colin Grimshaw, Digital Media Producer within the Communications Division, says: “Imperial has a reputation for excellence in teaching and research and our academic staff are often called upon to give interviews to the media. Having a dedicated television studio on-site makes this a seamless process because we can now generate content that can go straight to air. It also benefits students and staff as we can use the studio to create video podcasts and content for our website.”

White Mark was chosen for this project on the strength of its reputation as an acoustic design company. It specialises in production facilities for music recording, film and television and has designed and supervised the construction of over 170 audio production suites worldwide.

David Bell, director of White Mark, says: “We are noticing a trend amongst prestigious educational institutions to equip themselves with their own television and recording facilities. In the long term this makes perfect economic sense but I would issue one word of caution – any college thinking of going down this route should take expert advice at an early stage because avoidable mistakes can turn out to be costly to rectify later. With Imperial College London, we were involved very early on in the process and as a result we have created a studio that is ideally suited to their purposes and was delivered within budget.”

Rated as the world's sixth best university in the THES World University Rankings 2008, Imperial College London embodies and delivers world class scholarship, education and research in science, engineering and medicine, with particular regard to their application in industry, commerce and healthcare.

The Communications Division plays a vital role in promoting the College’s reputation and brand to the outside world. It also supports the community life of Imperial and liaises directly with the media to disseminate information.

Alongside the new television studio and editing suite, the new creative space has hot desks for 14 members of the Communications Division’s Events, Publications and Digital Media teams and a creative projects meeting area for brainstorming and design development.

“This development allows us to bring together the creative projects groups within Communications so that we can all benefit from a much more integrated approach to brand management communications and marketing activities at the College,” Grimshaw adds. “We opened the new hub at the end of August and the team has already moved in. The studio took a little longer to complete but is now up and running and we are all delighted with this valuable addition to our technical facilities.”