ECS has finished one of the UK's most artistic network installations, in one of Scotland's main architectural attractions.
The systems integration specialist had the task of cabling up Charles Rennie Macintosh's celebrated House for an Art Lover in Glasgow for modern network technology while retaining the building's unique internal and external design. The contract, worth #25,000, was part of a wider networking project with the Glasgow School of Art.
Macintosh drew up the plans for the house in 1901 as a response to an architectural competition. But the drawings lay untouched until engineer Graham Roxburgh resurrected them in 1989, completing the building of the house last year.
The House for an Art Lover is now used as a research and postgraduate study centre for the Glasgow School of Art. Among the courses offered are research in 3D motion graphics, entailing complex, bandwidth-intensive applications.
The network through the building uses switched Ethernet with ATM uplinks which connect via fibre to the ATM backbone of the Glasgow School of Art, and to Janet, the joint academic network.
In order to preserve the building's look, the cabling was laid under the wooden floors, which were raised on jacks above the concrete. Another problem was that the house's original telephone and power socket face plates were made of pure brass, forcing ECS to persuade the manufacturer, Wandsworth, to make a one-off set of brass plates for its outlet sockets. A total of 280 connections were installed in the four weeks it took to complete the project.
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