Case Study CCTV Control Room Furniture for Aston University


Aston University approached Thinking Space Systems back in 2013, after meeting at an AUCSO conference. Their security control room needed to be upgraded and was to be refurbished, so Thinking Space provided new control room furniture for Aston University and their staff, which utilises space more efficiently. 


Aston University is based in the Midlands, UK, with over 14,000 students enrolled. It currently ranks 43rd out of 121 UK universities as identified in The Guardian University Guide 2019. It has a student satisfaction rate of 84%, placing Aston above average for the sixth consecutive year. Originally a School of Metallurgy in 1875, it evolved into the UK’s first College of Advanced Technology in 1956. It is now a Public Research University, having received its Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth II in 1966.

The security control room monitors the 60 acre campus with sports facilities, libraries, open spaces, cafes and places of worship.


After meeting Thinking Space at the AUCSO conference in 2013, Thinking Space were tasked with providing proposals for control room desks to suit the layout of the room, and utilise the space more efficiently.  The existing consoles were of the old wooden design, which created a large footprint in the room and a dark environment for the 24/7 staff employed there. A further important factor was that the client wanted to keep the future in mind, therefore any furniture provided should be easily relocatable should the control room be repositioned later; a key feature of a Thinking Space console.

A typical CCTV control room layout was requested using free-standing furniture as the solution; a two operator console positioned in front of an Evolution Media wall, with a single operator supervisor console behind the two operator console. The client also required storage solutions, which were to be in keeping with the control room furniture.

3D render proposals were provided to the client, so that they could visualise just how much space could be created in the new designs. Lines of sight for the positioning of the media wall, operator and supervisor consoles was also proven during the consultation and free design service offered by Thinking Space, conforming to EN ISO 11064 standards for control room design.


Two desks were manufactured, the two operator console having single PC bays either end for each operators’ IT hardware. Moni-Trak was positioned across the width of the desk, allowing each operator the space for mounting four flat screen monitors directly in front of them. The Moni-Trak system allows for all cabling to be neatly taken from the desk surface through the brush strip and down to power distribution units located in the desk void.

Immediately in front of this console is a custom designed Evolution Media wall. This displays two rows of four 48” screens, for CCTV monitoring purposes. Integrated cable management and tilting crossbeams provides a tidy mounting solution for large flat screens, so that a “video wall” effect can be created.

The supervisor console, located at the rear of the room, enjoys a PC bay as well as drawer units, including hanging file storage.

Finally, a three bay 19” storage unit to match the materials and style of the control room furniture, completes the look.

The materials chosen by the client, with the cobalt blue worktops, create a cool, clean look and now make the new control room bright, airy and spacious. Operators have immediately noticed how their working environment has improved wellbeing, focus and efficiency.

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Aston University recently were lucky enough to work with Thinking Space in refurbishment works of the new Security Control room. Not an easy task when accommodating a room with so much technology, and to satisfy multiple end users. This was a complete redesign, with the focus on creating not only a user-friendly space, but a calm atmosphere essential when controlling emergency incidents. It is not always easy to achieve both function and design, but it has been achieved here. I’m confident we now have the base in which to serve our community, and a space our workforce can take pride in.

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