Building a world-class boardroom takes more than just an equipment wish list. In addition to functionality and aesthetics, the finished room must say something about the company's vision and values. That was the goal of Cecilia Cordova-Kling, a project manager for Unilever's Greenwich, Conn., office. The international corporation owns dozens of food and health-care brands worldwide.
Cordova-Kling knew Unilever's new boardroom had to reflect the corporation's brands and philosophy. "It needed to represent our culture and how we reach out to consumers," she says. To emphasize this outreach, Unilever wanted the latest technology for its new boardroom, including tools for videoconferencing and Webconferencing, as well as the latest in presentation displays.
Packing the room
Unilever took its vision to AV integrators HB Communications, and in a collaborative effort the boardroom began to take shape. Technology-wise, HB Communications outfitted the room with a rear-screen projection system using a Sony VPL-PX31 SuperBright projector, added two Sony PFM-42B1 42-inch plasma displays, a DVD player, video cameras, and teleconferencing and videoconferencing systems. An AMX room-control system rounded out the package.
To make the room even more presenter-friendly, HB Communications designed a table at which presentations can take place from 10 different locations. Every other seat features a network connection, a videoconferencing control and an RGB connection, letting presenters run the show from anywhere at the table.
Lighting the room
The project's architects, The Phillips Group, designed a unique lighting system for the room. The room features a glass photoelectric LCD wall that overlooks a roof garden. With the turn of a switch, the glass turns opaque and cuts off the outside view, creating a more private and intimate environment when needed.
Cordova-Kling believes that the room accomplishes the goals of promoting a sharp image for the company while being easy for presenters and executives to work in. "The room is, overall, very user friendly," she says. Most people who approach the AMX touchpanel, for instance, find it self-explanatory.
So far, reactions from within the company have been positive and the room is heavily used by executives and other employees.