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Phoenix Satellite TV Headquarters (HK) News Studio

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Design Concept:

In order to accommodate the studio one internal structural column was removed and four quadrants of floor slab and beam were removed to create an atrium.

A mezzanine floor was inserted between Ground and First Floor, much of this new space faces on camera areas. The VIP walkway was incorporated on this level, running from the gallery around the studio to the editing corridor.

Journalists and associated staff are accommodated throughout the entire floor area seated in a number of sunken “pods” or in rows of fixed seating to provide a dramatic backdrop the news readers.
Lighting around the studio is created by color controlled LED allowing for an infinite variety of color changes.

Lighting was a major part of the design and was undertaken by HEAD.
As the planning progressed it was clear that lighting could best be used to highlight and clarify the interesting shapes being generated by the volume and planning of the studio area. With a potentially confusing backdrop of journalist areas with flat panels screens and monitors a clear rationale was required. To this end
interior lighting, was divided in to 3 specific types.

House lighting
Generally a mixture of compact fluorescent and metal halide downlights to light space for cleaning and other maintenance duties. Chosen for low low power consumption and life of lamp.

Task lighting
Localised lighting in control rooms, editing suites to light only table top areas usually achieved with a louvered fluorescent tube.Chosen for low low power consumption and life of lamp.

Effect lighting
Used to enhance and clarify shapes and spaces within the volume. There was also a certain safety aspect to this making edges of stages and stairs conspicuous in low lighting levels. This was achieve using colour controlled LED lighting that allowed any color to be programmed in ready for changes in mood throughout the entire on-camera areas. Even back-drop areas to the news desks were included.

LED has the unique advantages of providing colour change, light level change, low temperature, low maintenance and low power. No other lamp type could achieve this.
The overall effect of lighting desk partitions, walk ways and architectural elements was to create an coherent and yet expansive space.

Essentially, we have created one enormous space. We have designed the space to be shot from any angle or height, giving an unlimited range of camera options. We even have a flying ‘track cam’, which moves across the space at high level to produce establishing shots at the beginning of the news programmes.

A broadcast centre has numerous technical and AV considerations. Sound absorbent materials and concepts are used wherever possible. We needed to avoid too many close horizontal lines, which interact badly with the way cameras record images. Vertical lines are
OK. Much of the equipment is heavy and sensitive to movement or vibration.

Normally TV studios are surprisingly small and cramped, and often face only one direction. To expose the entire facility to cameras from all angles is an unusual challenge but with a great payoff. By assuming that any part of the space could be caught on camera from any angle,
we get a great range of shooting options. It gets best use of the space.
As mentioned, a full 360 degree studio raises the bar for TV set design. The client will be finding new fun ways to shoot this space for years to come.
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