Controlling every aspect of the apartment under a single, easy-to-use, touchscreen-based control system.
The client outlined the objectives early on but was happy to let all those working on the project express themselves to bring together what is shown above. One main request was to increase the property’s security, so CCTV, video door entry, card access and an alarm system were introduced. Since the client enjoys watching films and listening to music, all media content has been stored centrally it can be accessed quickly and without fuss simply by scrolling through on-screen cover art. The client also liked the entry and exit settings features.
This property was built as part of a beachfront development over 30 years ago next to one of the most famous boat marinas in the Mediterranean. It recently underwent a complete 'back to brick' refurbishment, which gave us the ideal opportunity to install a tubing network throughout.
The automated apartment now features an in-house entertainment system distributed over nine zones with different audio sources — including over 200 internet radio stations — independently controllable throughout the home. Whether the client wants to watch a movie, a sporting event or just catch up on the latest news, video distribution in Full HD picture quality for all formats gives plenty of options to choose from. Energy-efficient LED lighting can be controlled through in-wall, hard-button keypads — which have pre-set scenes — or through individual circuit settings on the touchscreens to set the exact mood.
On-screen interfaces show temperatures registered within the rooms, which can be pre-set at the most comfortable levels or turned off when not in use. CCTV cameras can be monitored from within the property or over the internet anywhere in the world, while the alarm is integrated with the door entry system and automatically switches on or off upon entering or leaving the property from any exit via a 'complete shutdown' or 'welcome home' functionality.
Access to the beach is made simple with a key button touchpad: all shutters close, all internal lights switch off, TVs and music systems shut down and the air conditioning remains constant or turns off depending on the client’s settings.
I am enjoying spending time here. I am next to the port and the beach but love being here. Everything is so easy to control; I am amazed. I mean using an iPad, that seems unreal doesn't it? I love the entry systems, as security was a big factor for me. I think the Fendi decor is stunning I and love how Fusion Systems has managed to supply speakers that exactly match the TV size and wall colour while giving great sound quality.
A state-of-the-art lighting control system to dim and change the colour of all RGB LED lights inside and outside the house, and the ability to search and queue the music library in readiness for parties.
The client also wanted to be able to access and leave the property with complete welcome and shutdown functionality, so we set up an interface to manage all solutions via the same wireless control system.
This beachfront bungalow has been converted to a modern, open-plan living space with pitched roof terraces ideal for chilling out while overlooking the pool and lush private garden. The BBQ and bar area and covered pergola are ideal places to make the most of outdoor living as the Buddha water feature changes colour to set different moods while listening to the audio system or simply the sound of the sea in the background.
LED colour-changing lights in the ceiling and garden allow for a complete transformation of the areas at night. The ability to not only dim but colour-change each circuit gives the client complete control to set the exact mood for each occasion.
There are two hidden, motorised cinema screen installations – both fully automated to be activated at the touch of a button. Simply select the source, press start and get conformable. All content is cabled for high definition, so whether it is video gaming, a football match, a movie, or just a favourite TV channel, the surround sound system provides a new dimension to the viewing experience.
The client's entire music library is stored on a media server and managed through Wi-Fi control units, making it a real joy to use. Intuitive, icon-based technology for ‘at a glance’ navigation of cover art, metadata information, and track and genre listings are all features that add to the enjoyment of getting the bar and BBQ areas set up and in full swing for a party.
Beach access via a security keypad entry system means the client only needs to take sunscreen and a towel.
We have a very busy life in the UK, so my wife and I like nothing more than coming back here to relax. Marbella is a great place to come to with the warm weather though we rely heavily on the climate control. Once we get the temperature balance, all we then have to concern ourselves with is what music to queue on our playlist and what lighting scene we want to indulge in. The kids can jump in and out of the pool in the day and sit in front of the drop down cinema screen in the evening so everyone is kept happy and entertained.
From initial discussions, it was clear the client was looking to completely redevelop and change the room distribution and aesthetics of the entire property he had bought with a view to making it his permanent residence.
The brief from this tech-savvy client started with a multi-room audio system so he could enjoy music wherever he was in the house or outdoors. After some consultations, the client then felt confident to consider the ideas we had on other aspects of the build, including the control of the lighting and video distribution. The importance of a stable cable network was agreed upon for the property to cater for all features and technology possible both now and the future.
Once the overall solution was agreed-upon with the client, we worked on the tube and cable network designs, and once signed off, liaised with the architect and building company to ensure smooth delivery of the project. The final installation designs include multi-room audio to all rooms as well as terraces, garden, pool, and spa, HD video distribution to all main areas and bedrooms, two zones of surround sound and lighting control throughout, and a CCTV and door entry system viewable on all screens in the home.
A combination of in-wall control panels works the pre-set lighting and audio control, while the TV network is controlled using a wireless handheld control for a combination of components including amplifiers, a media server, an Apple TV, a Blu Ray player, various satellite TV boxes, motorised projector screens, and PlayStation consoles.
Centrally-housed control components mean that all cables can be hidden away and out of sight. With a Philips wireless control system, this setup controls all the aspects of the installation listed. A less-expensive control pad was provided for use in the garden, pool and spa area that is easier to view in direct sunlight and more weather-hardy.
Another way of keeping cabling tidy was been the inclusion of connector plates in each room which meant that not every room in the house needed to be included in the main system. If the client wants to connect local sources in some rooms – like DVD players or game consoles – they then can connect directly to the TV in the room via the connection plate and not from the central cabinet.
Similarly, in-ceiling speakers installed in a room can be powered by a local amplifier rather than brought on to the main system, so the system can expand over time as the client's needs change. These plates were designed to best match the rest of the home’s décor and provide the connectivity needed for the purposes of each room.
It was interesting to learn from the ideas these guys had coming from the tech world myself, and intriguing to see how they applied technology into the fabric of my home. I now see the results and agree the best time to allow for such a system is during the build stage. The key to it all seemed to be in the forward planning and cable infrastructure which also meant I have the benefit of not seeing any cables. It’s a very successful all-round solution. I am glad I brought Fusion Systems in on the project as early as I did as they were able to have a big influence on installations that are important to me. It is also comforting to know that, as technology changes in the future, my house is ready to be more easily upgraded.
Transforming the existing multi-room audio system into a more modern, user-friendly solution.
The audio system needed to perform better via Wi-Fi technology with its audio streaming functions. In addition, the client wanted all TV screens connected to multiple satellite systems and movies stored centrally on a media server with Blu-ray capability. Another request was easy to access to the security cameras from within the property and from anywhere in the world.
This was not an installation that could be operated using the standard manufacturer's remote controls, so it was paramount to integrate all the components under one control system using wireless technology. Apart from the 23 zones of audio and 15 zones of video distribution, one special area was dedicated to a cinematic experience with a large, 3D LED screen and 5.1 surround sound.
Involved from the early stages of the project, we teamed up with the client's builders and architect from the Sierra Blanca Property group. The tubing network was designed around all of the different cabling networks facilitating a large amount of data passing through the house. Managed switches ensure that the audio system, movie streaming, internet access, online CCTV access, and control system could operate seamlessly.
The Control4® user interface is the same throughout the entire home be it televisions or iOS devices. All control devices are consistent in the way they operate the video sources, music library, stream content over the network, or monitor the security camera installation from anywhere in the house or anywhere in the world.
My first concern was how well the wireless, multi-room audio system would work in a property of this size. Thanks to the cable network, it works well both for my own music library and for streaming online content – it is great for internet radio stations.
I am an avid user of the internet as part of my business, so I have a lot of traffic flowing around the house. It all works smoothly, which must be down to the separation of networks for control, security cameras, media, and internet.
Most impressive is the Control4® control system which I wasn't sure I was going to like; the whole family now uses it as it is so simple! The security cameras are also something I use a lot and like to check from wherever I am. I can even view them on my iPad if needed.
Our favourite part though is the TV room where we have a surround sound system in the ceilings and walls. The kids can watch films in 3D at full volume, which they love.
To combine the best, modern home cinema technology with the look of movie theatres from his childhood days.
Built from a bare shell in the basement of an existing property, the end result was achieved by combining today's tubing and cable network techniques and applying acute attention to detail to the overall look and aesthetics. The client was very hands-on in every aspect of the project. Everything had to be perfect: from the sound dampening and fabrication of the cinema structure to the audio-video specification, colour schemes, and the choice of materials used.
Previously, the basement had been occupied by gym equipment. Due to the size of the area, a second space was created within it. The idea was to condense the gym into two thirds of the space with an added audio zone, then install a new, designated entertaining room of approximately 4.5×10m. Stud walls were constructed and lined with materials to reduce noise and light pollution. This new area is primarily a cinema, but it is also used as a social focal point for the house where the client can entertain guests from behind the bar. The client and his guests can choose between watching the action on a large projection screen or on a 32" TV screen behind the bar.
We were given a very clear idea of what the room should look like, and worked alongside the interior designers at Ambience Home Design so the client's ideas could become a reality. His high expectations were met with our design and build quality.
A 2.7m-wide, fixed, acoustically-transparent projector screen hides the centre speaker, and the project itself is installed in the coved ceiling detail. Curtains cover the fixed screen when not in use and retract automatically when the projector is activated, for that extra 'cinema' feel. When watching a film, the room’s lighting dims as the image appears, leaving only a dimmed effect on the steps should anyone need to get up during the action. There are six leather, reclining armchairs placed on two tiers to give an uninterrupted view from any viewing position.
Floor-standing speakers are used for the front and channels, with in-wall speakers installed for the rear channels. This ensures that speakers do not encroach on walkways or the space at the rear of the entertainment room. A subwoofer completes the 5.1 surround sound set up. As the room is multi-purpose, it was important to use lighting to transform the room from entertaining mode into a high-end cinema experience.
The bar works as an independent zone, so it is possible to entertain without having to start the main system or display separate video sources. All of the components with the exception of the DVD player are housed in a metal-framed rack located in the adjoining utility room.
From what was there to what there is now, you would scarcely it believe possible. This has been a true transformation of the space. We are still blown away by the results and have had many friends comment on just how much enjoyment we must get from it.
The Crestron® control system performs brilliantly. It is great to see how the different parts of the installation combine to completely change the whole feel of the room. On starting a film, I still get goose bumps. Every detail has been well thought-out and executed, so there are no arguments on who sits where – which is a relief – and the bar area comes into its own on the odd occasion!
High-end audio, lighting, and home-cinema installation into an existing house.
As this client is a professional musician, the emphasis was very much on good sound. But, with that came evenings working and socialising, so an attractive lighting design was needed for the garden, terraces and lounge – the areas he would spend the most time in. The client also loves the latest, large-screen TV screens and was interested to know what we would come up with for a room he had designated as a cinema area in the lower level of the house.
The high-end audio was to be a simple stereo solution with which the client could listen to both lossless and MP3 audio formats in his main sitting room. It helps him hear final cuts in a way he thought most listeners would be hearing them, which helped him in the studio. Plus, he just loves to listen to good music in general so this was an ideal solution.
Outdoor audio on the terraces was also important, so a small, multi-zone amplifier for an iPod dock and CD changer was added to power the speakers on the lower, upper, and rear terraces. The speakers in these locations are weatherproof and rock-like in design – discreet and ideal for all conditions – and produce decent low-level and mid-range sound.
The room highlighted for the home cinema was on a lower ground floor level with very little natural light, making it an ideal blank canvas to which to begin. A 103" diagonal fixed screen with HD projector and 5.1 surround sound provide the main visible components. The front three channels are located in the wall behind the acoustically-transparent, fixed screen and out of sight for a neat finish. Behind them is a Blu-ray player and surround amplifier for high definition audio and video content. Additional sources, such as a satellite system and game console, were added shortly afterwards.
Other rooms with high definition video capability are the main bedroom and the lounge. Both screens are large, OLED models which were wall-mounted and connected to the same type of local sources.
A lot of time was spent discussing the overall effect the client wanted for the lighting. The driveway and garden were to be completely rewired but, as is often the case in Spain, the tubes were either very tight or the electrics supporting the circuitry inadequate. Once the final solution was determined, a rewire of the main areas was required. This is where we added an LED lighting control system for the terraces, garden, pergola and main sitting area.
As this was a retrofit, we needed damage to be kept to a minimum; so we decided upon a wireless lighting solution that works on RF (Radio Frequency) technology. It has a good range of communication between the keypads themselves and the modules that control the pre-set scenes and dimming features with the least amount of disruption needed to install. As there were quite a lot of lighting circuits on this system, a touchscreen was also added to allow for instant scroll-bar control of the lights. The touchscreen is also used for controlling the music and video installations.
I love music and, as I am a night owl, I wanted to be able to come home in the evening, enjoy a glass of wine, and listen to the good-quality audio. I also like to entertain my friends, so I invested in improved lighting to highlight some of my favourite features in this house.
The installation I was given far exceeds what I had in mind initially. It is just brilliant! I am so pleased with the whole result. The cinema is awesome and, when turned up, it's like watching all my favourite films for the first time all over again!