This sprawling project, winner of the 2019 CEDIA Award for Best Integrated Home, Level II (EMEA), is a brilliant marriage of architecture, design, and technology. It’s also another great example of two integration firms working together – the teams from Intuitive Homes and Ultamation had previously teamed up on a residence that won the 2018 CEDIA Global Award.
This 12,500-plus square-foot home had a dedicated cinema room prior to the present remodel, but that under-used room was scrapped in favor of a big-screen experience in their main living room. The team explains: “We worked with Future Automation and a custom canvas maker to create a huge mechanism that opens two 2.5 square-meter canvasses to reveal an 85-inch 4K TV. The canvasses were sent to an artist who the interior designer commissioned to create the impressive diptych painting that looks just as good when split either side of the TV -- or as a large landscape painting when the display is off. The surround sound is supplied by an Anthem AVR and in ceiling B&W reference series CCM8 speakers.”
This concept of hidden tech extends throughout the home, with a number of TVs stashed in bedroom footboards and reference-grade in-ceiling speakers for both distributed audio and cinema sound in places where traditional placement wasn’t possible.
Audio and Video Everywhere
Entertainment options abound. The winning firms tell us “The 4K video distribution is handled by a Crestron Digital Media system with six inputs and 12 outputs. For music we installed an Autonominc MMS-5e which allows the family to rip and play all of their CD content and -- more commonly now -- their individual streaming services and Airplay from their Apple devices. We used Sonnex audio distribution for the switching and amplification and due to size of the project and distances between the furthest rooms and the rack, and we utilized remote SWAMP expansion amplifiers which was a huge benefit due to the distances involved in this large property. “
Lighting and shading are part of this project, too; as well as surveillance and networking. The team says, “The system is based around a Crestron CP3 processor with Digital Media video and Sonnex audio distribution. The majority of equipment is housed in a Middle Atlantic rack in a dedicated plant room.
“We have a unified user interface on all of the homeowners iPhones, iPads and the on-wall Crestron touch panels. These UIs give the user access to everything in the system. The on-wall touchscreens are located in the main open plan living area areas and also in the gym and the pool. In addition to the on- wall UIs, all of the rooms with TVs have their own HR150 handheld controller which provides tactile control over the video or audio sources and the lighting.”
The Cooling Challenge
“The biggest challenge of the project was the air conditioning integration. There were several main issues that at one point made us question whether we were going to be able to make it work at all,” says the team. The trouble, simply put, was that no one – contractor nor AC manufacturer – knew how precisely to get the AC interface and the control system to “talk” to one another properly. It was up to the Intuitive Homes and Ultamation crew to get on the phone and do some detective work – and they finally got the right equipment with the proper protocols. The team says “Once installed it and gave the specialist remote access for a day, we had everything up and running -- it was a very satisfying end to a long and at times incredibly frustrating process.”
To see a complete equipment list for this project, head to the CEDIA Awards site here.
Photo Credits: Llama Group & Janey Butler Interiors