We were introduced to the client by the Interior Designer who we have worked with on many previous projects. This was the client’s London property and their main residence.
The clients had been somewhat exposed to a Smart Home system in the past having had several similar systems in this property and others but had felt that they never quite worked. They had experienced Lutron before but again never fully concluded the programming, so the result was somewhat lack-lustre.
We spent at least a year working with the client’s to truly understand their requirements. We went through our ‘scoping’ process to understand how the property would be used by them and their need for each of the systems we could specify. We also invited them to our showroom, and we provided a full demo from our Dolby Atmos Cinema which ultimately was specified at this property.
Once our proposal was agreed we then moved to design co-ordination and spent time with the Interior Designers to make sure everything we had suggested worked with the overall design intent for the property, which ultimately resulted in systems which were completely hidden!
The Control System
We chose Crestron Home for this property and the choice was made by the client due to the TSR310 and HR310 remote controls. He had also used Crestron before and understood it provided a very reliable and robust solution.
We use HR310 remotes for all the TV Rooms and then we have a single TSW770R touchscreen for global control of all rooms. The client’s also have the Crestron Home app.
The Audio and Video Systems
We chose to use Crestron’s new NAX multiroom streaming amp and we used two of these to provide a backbone in terms of amplification and streaming services to all the rooms with music. The client can simply Airplay from Spotify on their phone to any of the rooms within the house without having to touch the Crestron system.
We chose a combination of Artison plaster-over speakers and Artison Soundbars for the music in the core rooms. We paired these up with Artison in-wall subwoofers for bass. These were chosen as the grilles are small and discreet and they can be painted to match wall finishes. The principal entertainment space has a fantastic 6.2 speaker setup which provides more than just background music traditionally associated with plaster-over speakers.
We used a Video over IP solution from Blustream to send the 4K signals from the Sky Q and Apple TVs in the Basement rack to each of the 5 TV’s and 1 Projector. This minimises the need to have boxes at each TV location which allows the installation to be flush and neat. It also allows us to heat manage the boxes and remotely power cycle them from one position in the rack.
The Standout Rooms
The most important AV space in this property is the Cinema. This is a dual-purpose room so during the day the tech was to be hidden and the room was to be used as an entertaining space.
We designed a Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 system powered by Arcam Amplifiers and controlled by an Arcam Processor. The front, side and rear channels were provided by Bowers & Wilkins. The heights were plaster-over Amina speakers, and the subwoofers were in-wall Artison subs. We used a Sony Laser Projector and a Stewart Filmscreen custom-made Balon, acoustically transparent, wall mounted, bezel-less screen.
In the Drawing Room we also had a challenge to overcome with regards to concealing the screen. It was to be hidden from site and to emerge from behind a sofa when needed. We designed a solution using a Future Automation pop-up lift, built into joinery. The constraint was the height of the sofa so we suggested Artison Sketch speakers mounted to the left and right of the screen which meant we could minimise the height of the joinery piece.
We also provided the wired and wireless network and infrastructure. We used a DrayTek/Cisco/Ruckus combination for a 1G internal network with Wi-Fi coverage throughout.
We provided a fantastic intercom solution for gates and doors using BPT vandal resistant brass plates, customised to include eKey fingerprint readers for ease of use by the client, their family, and staff.
The lighting control system was a Crestron system using Meljac plates and brass toggles. The client did not want an overly complex system, so we have single toggles in most rooms which recall certain scenes depending upon the time of day. The scene can then be dimmed up or down by pushing and holding the toggle.
Our biggest challenge on this project was to not compromise quality in terms of the AV systems yet to ensure we could meet the design brief for everything to be hidden. This is always a challenge, but we were fortunate to have a client who was willing to accept the suggestions and costs we put forward to achieve this goal.