South African-based integration company, Cinema Architects Vereeniging was contacted by an existing client for this 2016 CEDIA Award nominated project after the client’s basement became flooded.
“The interior was totally damaged, so we redesigned the entire room,” Schalk Burger, company founder and owner of Cinema Architects Vereeniging tells CE Pro Eu. “The client and his family are movie-lovers and wanted us to design them a room where they can be comfortable to watch movies on a big screen, with great sound.”
The client also requested a bar section within the room to entertain guests and watch sports, while the kids wanted a place to play video games. Added to this, the owner has a huge collection of music, meaning the sound system had to be versatile enough to watch movies on and listen to music.
“They wanted to be able to control their cinema in the comfort of their seat without getting up to dim the lights or search for remotes,” says Schalk. “They wanted a good quality picture with the ability to watch 3D movies with the kids from time to time. Being big sports fans they wanted a satellite TV in the cinema so they can gather around with family and friends to enjoy the games on the big screen.”
Owning a Ferrari himself, the client said that he would love to have a cinema themed around the car, whilst also ensuring that it was also a timeless design with tasteful wood finishes, with the maximum amount of seats possible.
“This was quite a challenge for our design team as the slab height was very low, plus the one end of the cinema room had a concrete beam over that could not be moved or lifted higher,” Schalk reflects.
“We started with the construction layouts, keeping the height restrictions in mind. The level layout was done first to accommodate the maximum seating and the bar the client requested. We designed the front wall (baffle wall) for the in-wall THX speaker system we wanted to use. Speaker layouts were done to ensure there is no obstruction in the way of the sound path to all seating positions.
“We decided to design a custom equipment rack that complements the wood finished bar with a side door that opens to access the equipment and wiring from the side.”
Due to the existing ceiling/slab height of the room and the client’s request for a very large screen, the install team decided to put the speakers behind the screen, which also matches the theme of the room to create ‘clean’ lines.
“We installed a 3m micro perforated fixed mount screen,” he explains. “We also kept within the 15˚ ratio at seated eye height from middle of the screen.”
After the room mode calculations and the surround speaker placement layouts were complete, the team decided to install a 7.2 sound system.
“As a leading supplier of high-performance cinema speaker system, Klipsch knows how to make the most out of film soundtracks and surround effects,” says Schalk. “The front LCR reveals all the raw power and fine detail that the filmmaker originally intended.”
The LCR speakers are all placed at equal heights; also the left and right speakers are equal distance from the centre speaker. The rear and surround speakers were placed against wooden pillars.
A discreet curved stage structure was incorporated on the floor at the front of the room to finish the front design of the room. This structure was cladded with wood to match the rest of the stage. At the back of the room a compact, custom-built equipment rack was designed.
The ventilated bulkhead above the bar contains a Panasonic projector paired with a Harkness micro-perforated screen. The rear speakers are built into pillars and LED wall lights. As a result, projector intrusion and equipment noise in the room is kept to an absolute minimum.
“We acoustically treated the space in a number of ways to ensure impeccable sound quality, regardless of the seating position taken within the room,” Schalk elaborates. “The projector’s location minimises fan noise to increase the overall dynamic range of the audio, thus ensuring that quiet scenes in a movie are enjoyed, free of any disturbance. All the walls are acoustically treated with custom made panels, some with absorption and other with diffusion elements. The entire space was professionally calibrated using HAA software to achieve AV perfection.”
The control system used is Ezi Control – based on BACnet Open Protocol standards – allowing the team to combine various suppliers’ equipment into a common system. BACnet is the standard in commercial buildings and eZiControl brings that wealth of knowledge and security of standards into the residential home automation field.
“We installed and programmed an iPad automation system which controls the sound system, projection system, satellite TV and the lights in the cinema. The client was extremely impressed with this application,” Schalk reports.
As per the client’s request, the design team proposed a ceiling design that resembles the engine of a Ferrari. Colour changing LED-strip lights were used in this design to give the client the option to select two themes – blue or red.
“We installed a Bitwise Automation System and Rako Lighting System to control the RGB LED-striplights, downlights and footlights, thus providing the right lighting environment for a real cinema experience.
“The project’s design features a room within a room to achieve better insulation, acoustic properties and the sense of an old world cinema, far away from the reality of the outside world,” says Schalk.
The set-up includes custom designed wall panels upholstered with acoustic material. The front and back walls are also treated with acoustic material and then covered with fabric/wood panelling.
“The biggest obstacle in this room was the restriction of the ceiling height,” Schalk admits. “Careful and intelligent space planning, the clever use of technology and many years of experience in challenging home cinema projects combined to deliver a fantastically immersive and supremely comfortable audio-visual experience for this family.”
“The entire installation is a true work of professionalism,” the client said. “I am delighted at the outcome of the cinema: the sound is amazing, the picture quality is vivid and life-like and truly satisfying.
“The lighting’s strategic placement allows for complete control in any part of the room and even with the lights on there is no interference on the projector screen. The ceiling design is out of this world, it feels like you are walking into a Ferrari factory when you enter the room. The iPad control makes it so easy to control everything in the cinema and leads to a fulfilling cinema experience. I am very happy with the completed project. The company and their team of professional installers and designers exceeded my greatest expectations.”
Anthem D2 V 3D Statement Processor
Anthem A2 Statement Power Amplifier
Anthem A5 Statement Power Amplifier
Cambridge Audio AZUR 651BD 3D Blu-ray Player
Klipsch KL650 LCR, THX Ultra 2 Left, Right & Centre Speakers
Klipsch KS525 THX Ultra 2 Surround Right & Surround Left Speakers
Klipsch KS525 THX Ultra 2 Rear Right & Rear Left Speakers
Klipsch KW120 Subwoofer 12” Front-firing
Klipsch KA1000 Subwoofer Amp
Panasonic PT-AE8000E 3D Full HD Projector
Harkness Smart View Mini Perforated 300cm x 169cm screen
Panasonic EW3D2 3D Glasses
Bitwise BC4X1 Programmable IP Automation Controller
Rako RA-BRIDGE Ethernet Control Bridge
Rako RDL-500 Dimmer module
Rako RDS-800 Switching module
Rako LCP07-SS-2 Stainless steel 7 button wireless keypad
Cinema Recliners CINREC Custom made Cinema Recliners
Cinema Ottomans CINOTT Custom made Cinema Ottomans