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Gesture-driven touchscreen for flats

A new development of luxury apartments at a £500m mixed-use development near Oxford Street in London’s West End has IP door entry.

Rathbone Square is a 2.3-acre project consisting of office space, retail outlets, a public square and 142 apartments. The buildings have been designed by Make Architects and are being built by Lend Lease for developers Great Portland Estates. The site in W1 is a former Royal Mail sorting office in Fitzrovia and forms part of the £1 billion development of Tottenham Court Road before the Crossrail railway opens in the area.

The Urmet equipment at the apartments and penthouses is being installed by building services contractor TClarke and will operate from IPervoice, Urmet’s IP door entry software. The building services company required a single system that would offer screening of visitors and the ability to integrate with third-party home automation apps that control everything from blinds to lighting.

Visitors make calls using external stainless steel Elekta entrance panels. These Power over Ethernet (PoE) panels feature a 3.5-inch colour display with a 2-megapixel camera, allowing the recording of video and audio messages. According to the product company, the compact dimensions and sleek lines of the door entry will ensure the equipment has minimal impact on the period architecture. With an impact-resistance rating of IK09, the unit also offer minimal pry points to prevent vandalism.

Apartment residents will communicate with their visitors via Urmet’s latest black MAX IP Android-powered touchscreen. This is a 7-inch device with quad-core processor that provides processing power to run the most demanding applications, the makers say, and functions like a normal tablet. The system enables call-forwarding to mobile phones via Urmet’s Call2U App when residents are away, and lets users grant access from their remote location. Families can take advantage of this feature on up to four devices at once.

TClarke has also used Urmet’s concierge switchboard software, which enables the 24-hour concierge staff to manage calls, receive and create alarms, generate usage reports, and send messages on a global, group and individual basis. The software presents the concierge with an intuitive screen menu and gives operators overall site awareness.

Throughout the project, TClarke has worked to Secured by Design, the UK police scheme on the principles of ‘designing out crime’. The MAX IP touchscreen (now available in black and white) offers a 1024 x 600 pixel screen and destination control for lifts. The screen features a lift icon, while logic control within the IPervoice software allows the resident to limit a delivery person’s access to the floor for which they have permission. Secured by Design mandates intelligent lift management of this kind.

Mark Hagger, Urmet’s Sales and Marketing Director, says:“The Rathbone Square project shows us working in a collaborative environment with installer and developer. As the project matures, the MAX IP touchscreen will become a true portal. It will integrate with a host of third-party home automation apps, including lighting and blind control.”

About Rathbone Square

The various sections of Rathbone Square have six or eight floors, with three basement levels. The office space is on the south side of the building close to Oxford Street, while the residential block faces Fitzrovia. Rathbone Square consists of two ‘L’-shaped buildings, one incorporating the residential units and the other office space for which Castel UK, part of the Urmet Group of companies, provided an IP intercom solution. The exteriors feature precast concrete cladding and metalwork with a focus on low carbon footprint throughout from Hilson Moran, which is acting as sustainability consultant.

Many of the apartments at Rathbone Square have balconies overlooking a central garden. Residents can enjoy facilities such as a gymnasium, 18-metre pool, sauna, screening room and even a wine storage and tasting room. The adjacent public square is the first such area built in London for 100 years.


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