Designing a development of five multi-million pound apartments in Mayfair London W1, with a state of the art control system supervising everything from climate control and lighting, to audio and video distribution, to security, that was also easy to use and future proof was a tough challenge. Minimalist design and decor were foremost in the clients mind providing occupants with a dream home that looked stunning, was full of hidden technology and did everything they could dream of from the touch of a simple icon driven screen. Customers investing in such prestigious apartments seek individuality and each apartment had a different structure and room layout. The technology selected was common to all but needed the flexibility to adapt to the differing requirements.
The company chosen for this prestigious development was Living – The Home Technology People, because of their proven track record in delivering, simple to use, minimalist Audio/Visual, Lighting and Automation solutions. Living’s Owner and Director Wes Crutcher worked closely with the developers to turn the dream into a reality and to ensure the eventual homeowners had a reliable and flexible system to fit their individual lifestyles. Wes commented: "Amina Invisible Loudspeakers were the perfect fit for this project. The customer did not want conventional loudspeakers intruding into the space at all, so an invisible sound source which filled the room with high clarity sound was just right".
The first challenge was to select the back bone of the entire system. After much thought and consultation with the client, Clipsal C-Bus was chosen for its flexibility and aesthetic appeal. It was then over to the design engineers to build a brand new system incorporating security, cooling, heating and lighting. Not willing to settle for conventional wisdom, Living set about the task of reducing the overall number of inputs, switches and sensors needed to run the home, a ‘less is more’ approach. In room sensors, just 1 cm in diameter, removed the need for unsightly in room thermostats and air conditioning control LCDs, a delight for the interior designer. Tyco Electric under floor heating removed the need for unattractive radiators or grills whilst maintaining an even room temperature that could be varied across the apartment. Single informative in room control points were installed making control simple from the moment you walk in the door.
The audio and video was an altogether different prospect. The completed system needed to be able to provide excellent audio and video quality and at the same time not encroach on the aesthetics in each room. All equipment was centralised into custom made Audio/Video racks, keeping everything cool whilst maximising performance. Within the rack Elan’s hugely effective stable of products provided the amplification and standard definition video matrix switching.
Amina’s invisible speaker technology was then utilised to generate highly diffuse room filling sound to a truly exceptional integrated high technology, visually stunning solution. Each apartment has five Amina Loudspeakers installed providing a hidden 5.1 surround sound system for the main living area. This allows the rooms to perfectly combine the desire for an aesthetically pleasing room to relax or entertain in as well as providing a full surround sound home theatre experience for family and friends.
The stylishly decorated master bedrooms, accessed via a bespoke staircase in the penthouse suite, feature a stereo pair of Amina Invisible Loudspeakers. These are complemented by an Amina dual channel speaker in the ensuites ensuring a seamless enjoyment of music throughout the bedroom suites.
One delighted owner commented: "The AV system delivers everything you could expect to want or need with the speakers being discretely hidden yet capable of meeting the varied musical tastes of my family. The system is intuitive to use giving easy access to all connected equipment making listening to music, watching TV or accessing the internet a real pleasure."
Perfect for such a stunningly simple, yet effective, minimalist interior design, Amina loudspeakers are installed directly into walls or ceilings, the speakers are plastered over with a standard 2mm skim coat then covered with everyday finishing materials such as paint or wallpaper. Working on the principle of a vibrational soundboard, analogous to a musical instrument much like a violin or acoustic guitar, the speakers propagate sound through tiny vibrations which are invisible to the human eye. The speakers provide high clarity room filling sound with zero visual impact. The speakers can also be used behind wood, wood veneer, high pressure laminates or even a thin layer of acrylic stone providing interior designers with a sound source of their dreams.
With an eye on the future each apartment was installed with a flexible infrastructure of cables. The idea being to be able to offer end users a simple upgrade path as technology advances permit, as well as offering unrivalled flexibility with extra locations for screens, speakers and data points throughout.
All security systems including, CCTV, video door access and intruder alerts, have been seamlessly woven into the fabric of the automation and controls package, making operation simple, reliable and remotely accessible.
The effort in creating an integrated minimalist high technology home was rewarded by truly satisfied customers commenting how delighted they are with the result, an easy to use and flexible system that is visually unobtrusive yet powerful.
For further information visit
www.amina.co.uk or Tel: 01480 354390
Amina Invisible Loudspeakers are the perfect fit for prestigious apartments