This smoking hot project underlines that hospitality projects can come in many forms and as massive arcade fans, we couldn’t resist this total fun fest created by install company Maven.

Director at Maven, Rob Simmonds explains, “This is a commercial application within a high-end residential setting. If ever there was a pure definition of an adults’ playground, this basement bar and games area has to be it. The initial brief was for the space to have a functioning bar area, ‘sports-bar-esque’ TV screens (without being tacky!) and a sound system that could be used for background music or deliver the potential to compete with nightclubs when it came to party time.”


The system head-end components comprising of Control4 audio distribution, Wyrestorm NHD video over IP solution and Kaleidescape media servers are all brought together as part of a Control4 control system housed in a Middle Atlantic rack at the foot of the lobby’s spiral staircase. In addition, Lutron Homeworks QS provides user friendly lighting control from any of the eight keypads in the area.

The main bar/games area has six Artcoustic SL8-4 wall mounted loudspeakers complimented by four in-ceiling speakers as fill-in audio to ensure there are no dead spots. A further four Artcoustic Impact 2 dual 10in long throw subwoofers cover the entire area with deep bass. Two are positioned to the rear of the room and two are recessed into the joinery columns flanking the bar at the front. These have acoustic treatment within them ensuring the bass is dispersed forward into the room with no leakage behind.

Rob adds some more detail, “Custom grilles were made to match the wall speakers above, resulting in a perfect aesthetic finish. Access to all music streaming services and dedicated Kaleidescape music servers is via the in-wall Control4 10in touchscreen, or of course via the app or Neeo remote control.

“Three Samsung 32in commercial TVs are located behind the bar on mirrored panelling; these are able to display any of the 12 video sources available independently and each has its own dedicated Kaleidescape player. The reason for this is because the client has a lot of vintage sporting events such as classic football matches and boxing fights on their server, so when there is a sporting event or the big fight, the central screen will show the live fight for example, with the flanking screens replaying old fights as part of a homemade build-up to the main event, with the audio of the central screen being played throughout the sound system.

“This is made simple to achieve with custom buttons programmed so the client can select the event and the system is then setup as a sequence with minimal effort. We have also programmed a simple swipe left or right to control either the left or right hand screen.”


In the corner there is a snug area with a separate TV and Artcoustic 2.1 audio system (which can be linked to the main area’s system) dedicated for playing retro games consoles. Should the owner or any visitor want to play the real thing there is an abundance of restored original arcade machines ranging from Paperboy, Afterburn, Outrun and Moto GP, there is also a fully working flight simulator machine – and all free to use! A pool table, air-hockey, table football and American ice hockey machines are also playable under the custom neon-frosted lighting. A short walk past a side room, currently home to six pinball machines, will eventually be a VR area with 360º moving floor.

Rob enthuses, “Although fairly discreet in aesthetics, this audio system has to be heard to be believed – it is a monster! Walking around the area, there is a very well-balanced audio, purposely at head height and calibrated perfectly with the abundance of bass. The system in here is not fatiguing in any way even when turned up to a light-fitting-rattling level – which happens often!


“Speaking of which, all lighting is set to preset levels depending on whether the room is used for entertaining, gaming or nightclub mode! Frosted neon lighting over the arcade machines completes the retro yet modern feel to this area.

Furthermore, an ‘Arcades’ button on the Lutron keypad activates all of the sockets for powering up all of the arcade machines, along with the six pinball machines in the adjoining room. A simple double-tap of the ‘Room Off’ button not only fades all lighting off, but also shuts down the AV system along with all of the arcade machines – simple.

Rob concludes, “The client absolutely loves this area for entertaining and it gets used most days (and nights) as there is so much to do in here. You cannot help but become a child in here with all of the nostalgic arcade games and memorabilia.

“One of the most important things in this area is that it is so simple and easy to use. Too often if a system is complicated it immediately poses a sticking point so doesn’t get used. But with all of the bespoke customisation and ease of use built-in, whenever the client wants to add a feature to set the room up, it is simple to achieve. Although this is intentionally a fun room, there is a very serious system on-tap – as well as the beer behind the fully functioning bar!”

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