The debut of Al Jazeera’s revitalized and sprawling flagship facilities in Doha features three distinct studios and two high-end newsrooms, each capable of 360° shooting plans supported by cutting-edge technology and automations.
Enlisted in late 2020, New York based Clickspring Design worked extensively with multiple teams at Al Jazeera over the course of four months to produce the masterplan and individual set designs. The creative brief was uncompromising: the broadcast environments would require the highest quality technology, aesthetics, finishes, and performance for a network that understood the long-term need for flexibly adapting to use cases that can often vary by the minute.
A second newsroom sits to the west of the Al Hassad Studio, also accessible by a large tracking partition integrated within the set. Overhead scenery takes advantage of the room’s narrow profile, with linear baffles and custom lighting concealing the building systems above.
A central stand-up position is dedicated for brief broadcast segments, demarcated by an LED halo light between tidy arcs of sleek, white workstations. Theatrical lighting fixtures are integrated throughout, allowing the entirety of the space to be used for broadcast, if desired.
A large, completely operable glass wall separates this newsroom from the Digital Studio. In this intimate space, a glossy black floor serves as the backdrop to 4-meter-tall LED walls that flank three sides of the studio, and three additional full-height radially tracking LED walls. Finally, an automatic robotic camera jib and prompter allows the space’s dramatic height to be used to its maximum effect.
Most notably, the LED screens (manufactured by AOTO and supplied by scenic fabricator GETSET) feature extremely narrow pixel pitches throughout the vast spaces. Perimeter LED locations are a mere 1.2p, while all tracking elements are an even narrower .9p. This allows for the ROSS robotic cameras to get as close as possible to these walls, ensuring every square centimeter of the studios’ footprints are available for precise camera blocking.