Having designed several hundred audiovisual facilities for Owners and Architects, Emanuel has developed an intuitive knowledge of the issues that are are of concern to the Owner, Architect, & User.  We have listed some of these issues for your consideration.




Ceiling height determines the design of the Mediawall. The Mediawall is the front wall of a meeting room which everyone in the audience faces. We try to make the Mediawall as flexible as possible to support a variety of display options such as: projection screen(s), flatpanel monitor(s), videocamera(s), chalkboard(s), flipchart(s), tackboard(s), etc. For example: In designing a Mediawall, we find that the sightlines from a seat in the rear of the audience to the Mediawall are clear from the ceiling down to about 4 feet above the floor. Persons seated in front obscure the view of the Mediawall below 4 feet above the floor.

The formula for picture size = 6x (the picture height) to the back row.

Using the 6x factor, a 30 foot room needs a 5 foot high picture. If the bottom of the picture is 4 feet above the floor, then the minimum ceiling height is 5+4=9 feet.


Front projection is desirable for large images where there is a high ceiling, no obscuring chandeliers or columns, a wide stage area, and preplanned lighting systems, preferably controlled by a programmable light dimmer. The projection booth doubles as a workroom for slide sorting, computer graphics, video control room.

Rear projection is desirable where the ceilings are low, where ambient light is high, and where there is room for the projectors behind the screen. We have developed techniques for the Presenter to operate an overhead transparency projector rear screen from the lectern position, as well as access slide projectors, VCR's, etc from the lectern location. Dean Witter, Division of Sears, Broker Training Room uses the space between the projectors and the rear screen to store and sort student handout printed material packages.

The ideal is to plan a combination of both front and rear projection capabilities to take advantage of the benefits of each.


Videoconference options include AUDIO teleconferencing which provides only two-way voice communications. Add data-images to the communication. VIDEOCONFERENCING and Teleconferencing offer a video image of the Presenter as well as voice and data communications. Videoconferencing can be point-to-point or point-to-multipoint.


Traditionally, a meeting room would include a projection screen, a presenter with microphone, a projector and a projectionist. However, as technology has advanced, more user-friendly equipment has appeared. At the same time the presenter population has become more technically literate, and more capable of operating sophisticated equipment. With rising employee costs, there has been a concurrent pressure to reduce headcount, which makes the projectionist or AV Specialist a less common occurrence.

Emanuel has developed design concepts that permit presenter solo operation of the audiovisual facilities, as at Ciba Geigy Training Room. If Ciba wishes, they can have an assistant operate the media while the presenter is on the platform. This is certainly desirable when a guest speaker appears.

"Janitor AV" is the descriptive name we have given to one of the capabilities at Philadelphia County Medical Society. At nighttime presentations when the offices are closed, the janitor places the overhead and 35mm slide projectors for use by guests. At other times, the Society can run sophisticated computer assisted audio/video conferences with a part-time projectionist.


Emanuel provides the Owner with an audiovisual equipment list where the equipments are itemized and priced under three column heads ... |GOOD|BETTER|BEST|. During the facility design process, the Owner/Architect is provided with technical requirements for the BEST equipment selection to anticipate what the Owner might choose at the present time or in the future. A facility designed for the BEST does not hinder the growth of the facility, while at the same time, does not require the Owner to select initially the BEST equipment complement.

Medical Education Teaching Auditorium









Multiple Image Projection of Computer and Video Images








Simultaneous Display of Computer Image, VCR Image, Document Camera Image, DVD Image, Videoconference, Distance learning, Satellite, Ethernet, Network, and Internet.  All in one interactive multimedia teaching facility









The Lectern is the User's Work Station with built-in document camera, connectivity for laptop computer and digital camera , AV touch-panel controls, reading light, microphone.








The User adjusts the document camera in the LCD monitor before projecting onto the large screen. The document camera displays material from a printed page, has a rear light for display of overhead transparencies, and can also display small objects such as a complicated engineering part or medical specimen.








The User has full control of all audiovisual devices, videoconference, distance learning, computer projection, DVD play/record, streaming video, room lighting, screens, window shades, etc by touching an icon on the AV Touch-panel on the Lectern.















A wall mounted AV touchpanel provides an optional control position with a live video image on its face.











Guest speakers can take their place at a panelist table.  Ceiling mounted microphones and a wireless AV touchpanel support to their AV needs.