A bright Spark technology solution

Atrium Pod

The Client

Located in the heart of the city, Southampton Solent University is recognised for industry research in communication, culture, media studies, engineering, sport and exercise sciences. With a strong international reputation plus facilities at the forefront of today’s fast-changing technology, Solent ranks in the UK’s top 20 for the creation of graduate start-ups.

The University has set a new technology benchmark for the HE sector in the UK, investing £30m in a revolutionary new building. ‘The Spark’,  is designed to provide innovative teaching, events and conferencing spaces.

The Brief

From early in the design stage the objectives were to deliver a world class AV/IT experience that would promote the latest in learning technologies and an exceptional digital experience for students, staff and visitors. 

The Outcome

The contract to design and equip the entire building, including 35 classrooms, five lecture rooms, interactive study spaces and a professional conference and exhibition space, was awarded to Saville Audio Visual. The complex installation was completed in the summer of 2016.

Atrium Pod Videowall

The Solution

With a demanding range of requirements, the contract called for innovation and creative thinking in each area of the installation, from the giant atrium videowall down to easy-to-use room system controllers. 

Atrium POD

The key display facility inside The Pod is a 6x2 videowall installed in a bespoke curved mounting frame, comprising twelve 46” Samsung commercial grade screens, mounted in portrait mode. 

As in the other lecture theatres, the functionality of the AV system is built around an Extron control and switching solution. This provides the ability to connect all the required sources including PCs, Bluray players, document cameras and mobile devices.

Audio is controlled via an Extron system, allowing for a surround sound configuration for sources that support this natively. As in the lecture theatres and classrooms, the control system, visualiser and source equipment is housed in a bespoke Academy lectern.

Atrium Videowall

Atrium Video Wall

The key focal feature is a giant 6x6 videowall consisting of 36 Samsung UD55D commercial display screens. Specialist SmartMount video wall mounts from Peerless-AV ensure precise eight-point alignment for every screen plus easy, pop-out access for servicing and maintenance. 

The videowall primarily displays multi-format content generated by Samsung MagicInfo software. For full screen displays, two HDMI input plates provide a direct connection to the videowall from an external video source. 

Atrium Audio

The digital audio infrastructure system was designed to facilitate use of the Atrium as a flexible, multi-functional space.  

Easy set-up and configuration of different scenarios is possible via a digital patch panel included in the digital mixing console.


The 31 standard classrooms have each been equipped with a 70” CleverTouch display and a bespoke Academy AV lectern with USB visualiser, VGA/HDMI input plate and Saville OneTouch 6-button control panel for source selection and screen on/off.

In seven dual teaching rooms, 70” interactive displays are mounted on mobile adjustable trolleys, complete with a Barco ClickShare wireless collaboration system. 

A custom-built AV lectern in each room is nominated as the system master, with a slave trolley receiving audio and video from the master via a single CAT6 cable. Double rooms featuring a moveable partition benefit from the addition of a Quadra ‘sit or stand’ laptop table.

Palmerston Lecture Theatre

Lecture Theatres 

Two distinctly different lecture theatres are located below ground level. In a departure from standard ‘raked’ seating, the Palmerston Theatre is a Harvard-styled environment arranged in a horseshoe design to promote group working.

The two lecture theatre systems feature the familiar control interface used in other teaching spaces, using an Extron control and switching solution. 

Projection in the Jane Austen theatre is via a 12,000 lumen Christie D12WU projector, complete with dual DVI picture-in-picture modules. This provides maximum flexibility for displaying multiple images. In addition, a touch screen monitor connected to the in-house PC enables presenters to annotate over the PC image. 

Due to the circular seating in the Palmerston theatre, projection is provided by an Epson EB-L1100u 6,000 lumen laser projector, complete with short throw UST lens. The projector is situated on a custom built Quadra cabinet below the screen.

In both theatres all control equipment, including a HoverCam Ultra8 visualiser and Extron touch control panel is housed in a bespoke Academy lectern, including a two-button ClickShare collaboration unit. 


Digital Signage

A digital signage network throughout the Atrium area comprises twelve Samsung 40” screens with flat wall mounts. The screen content is delivered via Samsung MagicInfo Premium software.

Saville worked closely with our internal IT teams and consultants. They have not only ensured integration with our existing technology platforms but also helped us deliver a new standard for digitally enhanced teaching that has been well received by students and academic staff alike.

Director of ICT at SSU, Paul Colbran


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