Andy Jack, co-founder and director of TwentyTwo Integration, gives EI the inside track on this impressive and already award-winning project, the home cinema section of which is in the running for this year’s Smart Building Awards.
Starting with the impressive and very stylish home cinema, Andy explains, “Given a complete blank canvas and shell of room within the basement we were able to take complete control over the finished cinema and we were able to introduce HTE our acoustic treatment partner to the interior designer on the project to agree the colour scheme and furniture for the room, this has then allowed the room to be acoustically designed without compromising either the aesthetics or where the acoustic treatments are placed.
“We knew the client wanted a reference Dolby Atmos experience, so a 7.1.4 speaker solution was designed the system around Wisdom Line and Point Source speakers for the best performance for clarity, dynamics and consistent sensory experience and we built our own backboxes to house the in-wall loudspeakers and subwoofers.
For the best in video we demonstrated single-chip DLP and three-chip LASER DLP projection to the client and the up sale to three-chip LASER DLP was made with seconds of a Blu-ray starting! The projector was installed outside of the room, firing through a porthole. This maintained the visually aesthetic and eliminated noise interference within the room.”
Andy explains that for this home cinema a Digital Projection projector was paired with a Lumagen Radiance Pro Series 4K UHD scaler to provide reference level video and colour performance once it had been ISF calibrated.
To give the real home cinema movie watching experience a constant height, a variable width screen from Screen Excellence was also specified.
Protecting the home cinema equipment and promoting consistent high-performance was also paramount, as Andy says, “We ensured correct power management by utilising intelligent power management products. We installed an AC power sequencer which provided AC power to outlet groups one at a time. This allowed us to ensure equipment would be powered up and down in an orderly fashion by first providing power to signal processing equipment, and then providing power to the amplifiers.
“When shutting down the AV system, the sequencer turns off the system in the reverse order therefore minimising potential complications and equipment damage in the rack and equally importantly avoid damaging the speakers due to the signal processors being powered off while the audio power amplifiers are still running. Describe the acoustical considerations.”
Power of course needs control, so the acoustics of the home cinema of course needed to be right, but not at the cost of the design vision for the room.
Andy says, “We included acoustic wall panels that form the main design of the room. Aesthetically all the panels look the same, but behind the luxurious fabric, each panel is hand crafted employing a wide range of thicknesses, slots and holes. The complete acoustic panel system is cleverly mounted on a flexible yet rigid structure which in turn creates an air gap for excellent bass frequency control.
“The panels included both single panel fractor and defractors which diffracts the sound waves, scattering them in new directions. Further to this we also had a number of mid/high panels. These slotted panels provide treatment of mid to high frequencies within the room. To complement this, we had mid/low panes which are a multiple bored panel and provides treatment of mid to low frequencies.
“In addition to the beautiful wall panelling, we incorporated door coverings, a projector niche/port hole and a shelf to house the clients PlayStation 4 Pro games console all to further enhance the design. Of course, all materials used are key contributors to the audio performance.”
An engineered two-tiered SilentRise and SilentStep system was also built to provide optimum seating positions with soft LED lighting incorporated in the stair risers, which in turn was integrated into the Lutron HomeWorks QS system.
Bespoke seating was also commissioned so comfort is assured with the feel and fabrics every time the home cinema is used.”
Andy adds, “Maurizio Conti and his HTE team designed the acoustic treatment system, fabricated the wall panels and SilentRise and SilentSteps and sofas. They were also invaluable in translating and communication of the design intent to the client’s interior designers. They bought alot of passion to the project!
Taking every aspect of performance into account, Andy explains, “Reverb was considered at great length as we understood from previous experience it can have a huge impact on the finished results. Within the acoustic design we included a number Rev/ Cut panels which feature an EcoFiber filled frame to reduce room reverberation. “To ensure we had minimised reverb we ran the Impulso app to get some time measurements in the room and we have achieved 0.25 of a second, which we are extremely happy with especially when we consider that only the walls and risers have been treated in the room.
“Additionally we ran pink noise through the centre channel and took measurements at the first row at 4m distance from the screen and we achieved 98dB with a peak of 101dB using Wisdom L8i. We crossed referenced these results using the following this website which will show for example that an 800W amplifier would be required to hit reference 105dB at this distance.
In conjunction with Wisdom the team also reviewed all speaker and sub placement to ensure correct positioning. There were a few challenges to overcome and in particular the arrangement had to be mindful of the design of the wall panels and how they could clash with speaker placement. The original plan was to have two large Wisdom S90i In-Wall subwoofers but after performing calculations of the intended design it was found that the system could get a much lower db offset if this was changed this to four smaller versions.
Andy adds, “We also moved the screen down to better perform with the front LCR speakers particularly for people sitting in the front row. The side speakers were moved slightly forward and up so not clashing with the acoustic panel joins and finally the height speakers initially were two close together so the space was increased to maximise the sound stage.
“The challenge we had that did not become evident till nearer the end of the installation was a low level rattle that was caused by the AC ducting clashing with metal joists that supported our ceiling speakers. This very low-level noise was picked up during the commission phase whilst setting audio levels using the Datasat LS10 Dirac calibration.”
The team resolved this by building a barrier between the left hand rear Atmos speaker and the AC duct.
Other challenges included accommodating the PS4 games console that the client had asked for at the 11th hour. In order to facilitate this it was necessary to redesign a panel to make a niche for it to sit in. The knock-on effect of this was the scaler had to be moved to same area as the projector. The final challenge was setting the right Bitstream on the PS4 – an option very well hidden in the menus!
Lighting up the rest of the house
This newly built 15,000 square foot luxury property is situated on a 53-acre country estate and as well as the cinema incorporates formal reception rooms, nine bedrooms, a kitchen, indoor swimming pool, and an underground garage, as well as extensive gardens.
The client was eager to use a Lutron lighting control solution, having previously used Lutron at another property in the United States.
The customer wanted unified control of both interior and exterior lighting, as well as automated blinds, and seamless integration with HVAC and security. The solution needed to be robust, simple to use and aesthetically complement the modern, clean interior of the property.
Although a large home, there was limited plant areas outside of the basement. In addition, the client had extensive formal gardens that needed to be lit.
HomeWorks QS was chosen as the solution which incorporates 350 circuits with lighting control via a mixture of dimming technology, including DALI, DMX, phase-control, and 0-10V.
Andy says, “To minimise cable runs due to the limited plant area, we strategically housed dimming panels in voids behind joinery and loft spaces. The flexibility in Lutron wiring and panel sizes are what made this tactic possible.”
Palladiom keypads, with their clean lines and minimalist style, were the right choice for using throughout the home. Palladiom also met the client’s request for keypads with larger buttons, so that he could easily see what was being pressed. A total of fifty-three of the home’s rooms have the Palladiom keypads.
The client also wanted simple temperature control, as opposed to touchpads. The Palladiom thermostat met that request. Designed to match Palladiom keypads, with the same sleek, low-profile appearance and finish, Palladiom thermostats were installed in 16 of the home’s rooms.
Lutron Sivoia QS roller blinds were chosen to provide natural light control throughout the residence. The bedrooms feature blackout blinds with fabric from Lutron’s Atelier Collection, while sheers manufactured with third-party fabric adorn the family room.
Turning to the residence’s exterior, HomeWorks QS enables flexible control of outdoor lighting in the property’s extensive gardens.
In order to avoid running an excessive amount of 230V cable for the lighting in the formal gardens, DALI was specified. For easy maintenance, DALI drivers were placed in sunken waterproof enclosures with 24V outputs to the light fittings.
The outdoor lighting is controlled by the astronomic timeclock that tracks sunrise and sunset. The lighting is divided into zones, including two terraces and a barbecue area, that can each be also manually controlled.
In addition, HomeWorks QS has also been integrated with the home security system, to switch security lighting on and off and turn on interior lights in the event of an alarm. With this comprehensive scheme it’s not a surprise company picked up a Lutron Excellence Award in 2019 for the home’s lighting scheme. Will the cinema part of the project be as successful at the Smart Building Awards announced later this year?
Cinema Equipment List
Digital Projection: 4K Highlight Laser 3 Chip Projector
Screen Excellence: 356cm wide motorised screen
Lumagen: Radiance Pro 4In2Out (inc 18Ghz in/out cards) scaler
OPPO: UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray player
Datasat: LS10 processor
Datasat: RA7300 7-channel 300W RMS amplifier
Wisdom Audio: 3 x L8i – line source/planar magnetic hybrid speaker
Wisdom Audio: 4 x P4i – point source/planar magnetic hybrid speaker
Wisdom Audio: 4 x P2i – point source/planar magnetic hybrid speaker
Wisdom Audio: 4 x S90i – RTL subwoofer
Crestron: TSR-310 Handheld Touchscreen Remote
HTE: Full compliment of room treatment panels
HTE: Bespoke sofas
Lutron: Main and accent lighting
Furman: Power control and conditioning
Autonomnics: MMS5 – Mirage Media Server
Apple: Apple TV 5th Generation 32GB
OPPO: UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray player