BlackRock first appointed Hewshott in 2009 as the acoustic consultants for their Anson Road building in Singapore. Following a competitive tender, Hewshott was again selected in 2010, this time as the AV consultants for BlackRock’s relocation to Draper’s Gardens, London. With 13 floors and an AV budget in excess of £4 million, Hewshott recommended that a single AV contract of this value represented risk to both BlackRock and the project, and suggested that the package should be split into two clearly defined halves that would run in parallel with one another. This is a tried and tested method that we have used many times before, and one that we continue to use. Taking this approach proved critical during the big push at the end of the project as the ability to draw from two different AV companies meant more available resources when they were needed most, each with their own management and logistics back up.
The first package included the training, meeting and presentation rooms incorporating audio and/or video conferencing facilities. These sixty or so rooms were standardised into four types, each meeting BlackRock’s global standards. The room types were developed with this project and a parallel project in the USA to which Hewshott was also appointed. A large boardroom with rear projection and motorised rise and fall table monitors was also included in the `standard` package.
The second package included the `specialist` areas such as the divisible auditorium, other large divisible rooms, a TV studio with chroma-key facility and a control room, a multi-function cafe, a large video wall in reception and nearly 300 LCD digital signage screens grouped in multiples of three to form `ribbons`, as they became known. Most of the floors had a vending area that featured a large LCD display with touch-screen membrane providing what was effectively an interactive notice board.
With BlackRock moving staff to Draper’s Gardens from more than one location in London, the occupation of the floors was phased. Hewshott’s project management team engaged fully with the project delivery team, and worked closely with the design team and many different contractors to ensure that the AV facilities in each phase were ready to use as the various groups moved in.
A large project of this scale is always challenging under any circumstances, but against the backdrop of the deepening economic crisis, focus on value for money was extremely sharp. Hewshott’s team proved, once again, that tight tendering, hands-on project management and full accountability to the client for the final outcome resulted in facilities and services at a price point never previously achieved.
Hewshott is delighted that BlackRock has engaged us in Asia, Europe and America, and they join a growing list of clients that strive for accountability, pedigree and consistency in all their AV solutions. Hewshott’s ‘terrier’ approach, ownership of our clients’ requirements, coupled with our ‘can-do’, pragmatic attitude and local know-how ensures global clients have their solutions delivered consistently throughout the world.