University of Plymouth - InterCity Place: Case study

A former railway office tower building once mooted for demolition, InterCity Place has undergone a £33 million regeneration inside and out to serve as a new modern University facility with practical learning and meeting spaces for healthcare students.


iiyama displays

Extron processing, controlling and switching

onemedia signage

ONELAN players

Marshall cameras

t.bone mics

Audac speakers

Chief mounts

Sennheiser mics

Turning Leaf lecterns

WolfVision visualisers

WolfVision Cynaps

Philips signage

Samsung signage

Audio visual case study

plymouth intercity place audio visual​​​​​​​

Above: The £33 million regeneration of InterCity Place includes a new façade

More recently, the 11 storey building had become one of Plymouth’s biggest eye-sores since being vacated and left to dilapidate without an occupant. After being touted for demolition by the council in 2017, a masterplan was put together to regenerate the city’s gateway including a transformed InterCity Place.

With the objective of repurposing the building as a modern learning environment for the future of its Faculty of Health, the University of Plymouth took over the building alongside its other ongoing developments, committing to further investment in class-leading facilities. As sole supplier to the client, GVAV were tasked with the design, supply and installation of audio visual solutions across the building working in collaboration with the University’s in-house AV team.

11 storeys of dynamic spaces

First impressions of the new tech-infused InterCity come in the form of 55” onemedia all-in-one PCAP signage displays in both the Foyer and Social Learning Suite, integrated with ONELAN players to display University information and media content.

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With 11 floors featuring dynamic practical spaces for different purposes as well as meeting rooms and office areas, the requirements for each floor were detailed and bespoke. As such, the planning stage was crucial to the success of this project, with effective communication essential between other contractors, key stakeholders at the University, GVAV and suppliers.

Emerging from the pandemic, the education industry has turned its attention to flexible and accessible hybrid learning spaces. For many of the spaces within InterCity, the ability to capture video and audio for Panopto, monitoring and training was an essential requirement, allowing students to dial into sessions remotely.

To achieve this, a variety of equipment was chosen to suit each of the building’s room types. Marshall CV506 Mini Broadcast Cameras are mounted to the ceiling in many of the rooms alongside the t.bone EM700 microphones for audio capture.

The T bone microphones at the University of Plymouthmarshall broadcast camera at the University of Plymouth

These inputs are fed into a PC which means that students are able to access remote recordings of sessions and get multi-streaming access from Panopto’s video CMS, adding value to the student experience while boosting productivity. 

Room sizes and requirements were taken into consideration when choosing display equipment for each of the rooms. With rooms ranging from small meeting rooms to larger teaching spaces, different types of kit were required.

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Throughout the building, 55” iiyama displays are used for presentation and signage, as well as a mixture of 65” and 86” iiyama touch displays fixed with Chief wall mounts or on TOP-TEC trolleys depending on the requirement. These touch displays allow staff to present teaching content in 4K UHD with accurate annotation capability for engaging, interactive learning sessions.

These displays can be fed by a number of input sources, controlled using Extron touch controllers integrated into Turning Leaf lecterns. The control panels allow teaching staff to intuitively select input controls with simplicity and minimal training for a seamless presenting experience from the University PC, the user’s own device or via a VZ-3neo visualiser for ultra-high definition document imaging.

10 Turning Leaf lecterns across the building are fitted with 24” iiyama multi-touch monitors by NewStar desk mounts, acting as a second extending display alongside a client-supplied monitor. Amongst other functions, this can allow staff to preview the next slide of a presentation before it gets shown on the main teaching display.

Turning Leaf lecterns at the University of Plymouth InterCity

Across InterCity’s teaching rooms, a total of 100 pairs of Audac ceiling speakers provide high-quality audio for students to hear the presenter or media playing through the teaching display.

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Practical learning spaces

Being able to clearly hear the presenter was a vitally important part of the client’s requirements, especially in the larger open-plan spaces such as the Hospital Simulation Room on the sixth floor. These big, hands-on learning suites will naturally be noisier and busier than traditional classrooms, meaning an audio reinforcement solution was required to ensure the speaker does not need to shout to be heard across the room.

Options of Sennheiser hand-held or lavalier microphones are based at the teaching stations of these larger simulation spaces, providing clear and effective voice input that is then seamlessly relayed over the system.

Further practical learning spaces come in the form of virtual dissection laboratories on the second and fifth floors. Anatomage tables in these rooms facilitate realistic, segmented 3D anatomical visualisations of the human body.

To supplement this experience with extra information and learning materials, large displays have been installed in these spaces, each with wired and wireless input options. On the second floor, two 49” Philips digital signage displays are coupled to form a 32:9 video wall alongside a tertiary display to show content separately.

The fifth floor’s Anatomage room has a singular wall-mounted LG 88” ultra-stretch signage screen as the room’s primary display.

Anatomage table and Samsung stretch display in the University of Plymouth's InterCity Place

Also on the fifth floor of InterCity Place is the Community Home Suite, comprising of a mock kitchen, living space, bedroom and bathroom for simulated care training.

The biggest of these spaces is the living room, which is kitted out with an 86” iiyama display, Audac speakers, Turning Leaf lectern and an Extron TLP touchpanel, as well as t.bone mics and Marshall cameras for training and observation.

InterCity University of Plymouth

With the aid of the building’s high tech integrated solutions, these brand new practical facilities will provide valuable training spaces for health and social care students and help cement the University’s standing as a leader in these fields.

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Meeting rooms

As well as learning spaces, there was also a requirement for several dynamic meeting spaces in the revamped InterCity Place.

Across the building’s 11 floors, meeting rooms in a variety of sizes and specifications have been installed for small in-person gatherings and presentations. Users are able to bring their own device to present on the room’s iiyama display through HDMI or wirelessly via an integrated WolfVision Cynap Pure Mini for screen mirroring up to 4K supporting AirPlay, Miracast and Chromecast.

Having both wired and wireless connectivity options in these shared spaces was an important requirement in the modern age of personal technology. Users are able to arrive with mobile phones, tablets or laptops and share content simply and seamlessly using the highly compatible WolfVision device.

InterCity Place meeting rooms

Extron MLC Plus 100 panels give the end user intuitive, comprehensive control of the display system with on and off buttons, input selection and a volume dial.

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Training the future of the NHS

Equipped with simulation spaces for a multitude of scenarios, NHS standard equipment and medical manikins, students can use the new space to gain vital experience before they go on their placements. Alongside the University of Plymouth’s other ambitious projects, investment in AV in InterCity Place enhances students’ learning experiences, allowing them to dial in to sessions remotely, observe and review their contemporaries, and conduct training exercises.

Amidst nationwide NHS staff shortages, InterCity Place will become a vital long-standing and attractive high-spec practical learning environment for future generations of health professionals, not only bringing together the University’s Schools of Nursing, Midwifery and School of Health, but also attracting new talent to Plymouth and into the health service.

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