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In 2015 the Al Jazeera Media Network decided to open a new UK headquarters in London’s most iconic building.
These new state of the art office areas, newsrooms and broadcasting studios collectively cover more than 27,800 sq ft and are located on level 16 of The Shard.
LocationLevel 16 of The Shard, London
ArchitectJohn McAslan & Partners
ContractorSweett Group Plc
The designs for Al Jazeera’s new HQ were the product of a successful collaboration between the media network’s own creative and technology teams and the renowned inner city architect John Mcaslan & Partners.
These designs were verging on revolutionary; they took full advantage of the Shard’s location and perspective. What they proposed to create was a new open plan studio which optimised London’s famous skyline. This was achieved by wrapping technical rooms around the building’s central core, with adjacent meeting rooms and open plan work areas. The media network’s prized broadcasting studios lie on the perimeter. In designing the floor in this way, John Mcaslan & Partners have pioneered a way to move Al Jazeera away from a traditional ‘black box’ studio style.
This new style studio layout brought with it many challenges, the first of which was a need for complete acoustic control. Having an already proven track record in assisting in many media focused projects, Optima – pioneers of the acoustic revolution – was chosen to install all glass partitioning systems and sound control doors.
Optima was required to install Revolution mullion-free double glazing, Axile Flush bonded doors and our iconic Optima 117 plus single glazing. In addition to these, Al Jazeera required bespoke, high acoustic screens and acoustically assured doors for the production studios. Optima’s previous experience working for the BBC, along with extensive acoustic knowledge and technical expertise, proved invaluable.
Being located in arguably the most iconic building in the Capital, the interior of this particular space had to be just as impressive as the building’s exterior. The result certainly is impressive: an innovative production facility that delivers in terms of functionality, aesthetics and performance.
As a company we are intensely proud of this project. The efficiency, expertise and sympathy to surrounding trades that we showed on site were of the highest level and both the client and the professional team are delighted with the finished result.