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Door entry for Television Centre

Pictured is the former BBC Television Centre at White City, west London. The 14-acre complex and landmark has many features Grade II-listed that will remain as part of a new residential, leisure and commercial complex.

Developers, Stanhope plc, are using door entry product company Urmet’s open platform iPervoice IP system on an initial phase of 430 apartments and penthouses. The product will be used for visitor announcement, system management by concierge staff and lift control interface.

Elekta glass entry panels have been specified to minimise visual impact on the 1950s architecture. These panels have been fitted at 40 entrance points and connected over the Cat5e network allowing visitors to communicate with residents. The Elekta is a Power over Ethernet (PoE) panel that features a 3.5-inch colour display and allows audio and video messages to be recorded.

The panel will also detect if a door has been left open. A duress function works for anybody who feels under threat. At large sites, the panel can display a route map from the external entry gates to the selected residence. The Elekta features soft-touch controls and can be flush-mounted. Urmet also supplied some bespoke external posts for installing the panels in areas of Television Centre where the buildings have a glass-fronted or a curtain-wall exterior.

Some panels in communal areas have extra one-button call units for contacting the 24-hour concierge staff. These are from Urmet’s Sinthesi Steel range and feature a wide-angle 120 degree camera, vandal-resistant body and impact resistance to IK09.

In the apartments, residents respond to calls from the entrance panels and communicate with their visitors using Urmet’s newly launched MAX IP Android-powered touchscreen. This is a seven-inch tablet-style device that uses swipe and gesture conventions familiar to any smartphone user. The MAX IP has a 2-megapixel camera and a 1024×600 pixel screen.

The MAX IP features a lift icon that generates a signal to the lift interface when pressed. Residents can call the lift to their floor or send it to the ground level to receive a guest or delivery person – all without leaving their apartment. The lift occupant can only travel to the floor for which they have permission and they are prevented from visiting other levels. This function is a core requirement of Secured by Design (SBD), the official UK police designing out crime scheme.

Television Centre also uses Urmet’s switchboard software, which lets concierges manage calls, receive and create alarms, and send messages on a global, group or individual basis. The software presents the concierge with an intuitive screen menu. Concierges will work from a lobby formed from the original ‘stage door’ entrance to Television Centre.


Mark Hagger, Sales & Marketing Director at Urmet, said: “Urmet excels at populating our touchscreens with factory-controlled third-party apps for integration to home automation and network systems. This is a direction in which developers and installers want our sector to move and the trend was also emphasised by prospective end users when they looked at the system in the marketing suite created by developers, Stanhope. Many of our projects involve door entry at sites that retain the original fabric of an historic building. Urmet’s unobtrusive designs allow architects to maintain period feel, but also empower residents with functionality. This is becoming one of the many strengths of the iPervoice system.”


After its opening by the Queen in 1960, the studios at White City created such TV shows as Blue Peter and Children in Need, until 2012. Known from now on as Television Centre, the overall site covers 145 acres. The architect is London-based practice, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, which will retain components such as the Helios statue and mosaic work. The recent Urmet installation is on the initial ‘Helios’ apartment block. The scheme will finally include 950 new homes, offices, restaurants, cafés, a cinema, shops, hotels and a campus for Imperial College.