Exploring a double CEDIA Award-winning designer retreat in Thailand
The best connected homes are not just about technology – the best connected homes carefully marry technology with a home’s design to create a seamless living experience. This is a sentiment agreed upon by the judging panel of the CEDIA Awards, who chose one Thailand mansion as the recipient of its ‘Technology Meets Design’ award at its 2017 ceremony.
One CEDIA Award was not enough for the one of Thailand’s most luxurious five-bedroom homes, spanning over 3000m2, featuring a comprehensive automation, lighting and entertainment system installed by UK-based NV Integration. The project was recognised as the leading entry in both the ‘Technology Meets Design’ and ‘Best Integrated Home £360,000 and over’ categories at the awards’ 2017 edition, dedicated to recognising the highest standard of integration in the residential industry.
NV Integration were tasked with transforming the client’s home into a fully automated space incorporating integrated control of all core systems, along with a bespoke user interface. Yet as the client’s third home, the homeowner challenged the integrator to really push the boundaries of technology so he could impress when entertaining visitors.
Delivering this in Southeast Asia was not without its challenges for NV Integration, however – a company headquartered in London. Every scenario to be carefully thought through to ensure that every single piece of equipment was pre-ordered and shipped on time. Outside of the import duties and taxes on the kit list, ensuring relevant team members could be on-site through acquiring visas and communicating with local contractors, including electricians who did not speak English, meant multiple site-visits and checks were necessary to complete the installation.
To manage a project of this scale, and enable a sufficient level of customisation, NV Integration opted for Crestron control to be at the heart of the installation. Sub-systems comprise of all AV equipment (including a home cinema with cinematic-motion seats and distributed audio and video); internal and external lighting; window treatments consisting of both single and double curtains and blinds; CCTV; gate entry; climate control; as well as management of a large wine cellar.
To satisfy the client’s high expectations for home entertainment, the installer specified the Crestron Sonnex Audio with Autonomic's Mirage Media Server to stream audio to 25 zones from sources, including Tidal and Spotify services. For enjoying films and TV, a Crestron's Digital Media 4K video distribution system delivers centralised video content to 16 zones, making content available on all of the screens at any one time.
Due to the home’s modern, glass-dominated design, its Lutron HomeWorks QS lighting was also an integral part of the project, and required lengthy planning with a local Thai lighting designer to get perfect. Not only were the basics (i.e. integration with Crestron and control and management of all lighting circuits – 350 in total – throughout the day) ensured by the lighting team, but small attention to detail creates another form of entertainment in the home. In the upper hall of the mansion, DALI lights around a fish art installation have been sequenced to give the impression that they are swimming. Fountains are also integrated with the integrated within the Lutron system and programmed to run at select times of the day to ensure the ponds are oxygenated for the fish.
When it comes to controlling the different systems in his home, the client has numerous choices. He can control his whole home from Crestron in-wall touchscreens, with Crestron touchscreen remotes on hand in local areas with TVs and guest rooms or manage systems via his iPad using the manufacturer’s app.
"In the upper hall of the mansion, DALI lights around a fish art installation have been sequenced to give the impression that they are swimming."
It was important for the touchscreens to be intuitive for any guest in his home to use, so each HD touchpanel in the home guides the user through how to use it for home control, and also incorporates a welcome screen to greet visitors. Personalisation also extends to show specific news sources and weather information on the display. NV Integration ensured the homeowner could have widespread control via a “global” page showing a custom plan of each floor in the home where he can view the status of lighting and air conditioning and switch any of the systems if necessary.
A variety of scenes have been programmed by NV Integration to create different atmospheres through lighting, music and AV. These are accompanied by a number of entertainment modes the homeowner can trigger, such as ‘informal,’ ‘formal’ or birthday party,’ in addition to specific presets for the home cinema and shutdown sequencer for when the property is unoccupied. On occasions when the PIR detects activity during night hours, a dedicated TV in the master bedroom automatically switches on and displays the camera images too for increased security. The homeowner can also access the property’s control system remotely to choose the ideal conditions for his return via his iPad.
One of the more unique components of the project involved combining two of the client’s loves: technology and wine. NV Integration worked to integrate control of the homeowner’s wine collection so each bottle now to be managed simply by scanning its barcode on the ‘CellarTracker’ app on a wall-mounted iPad. The Crestron app then displays the wines available to the user, as well as supporting searching by regions, producers or ‘readiness to drink.’
Not content with the unique and customised application of automation technology throughout his property, the client also requested that technology be hidden. Therefore in three of the homes in the mansion bespoke joinery was installed to conceal the TVs, meaning they also have a dramatic effect when revealed.
In total, the home took five years to build due to the complex nature of the project, and number of involved parties. The CEDIA Award judging panel noted that the home has been transformed thanks to NV Integration; "The project is the definition of a ‘smart home’. It stands out on so many levels and truly feels like James Bond’s house.”
Read our accompanying case study specifically exploring this property’s home theatre set up, featuring Meridian DSP7200 loudspeakers, here.
Artcoustic bespoke soundbar and subwoofer
Autonomic Mirage media server
Bowers & Wilkins CCM series in-ceiling speakers and Mini Theatre surround system
BPT XiP entry system
Cisco managed network
Crestron 3-Series control processor, DigitalMedia system and Sonnex multiroom audio system
Dahua IP CCTV system
Fortress home theatre seating w/D-Box
JVC X900 projector (& panamorph lens)
Kaleidescape Premiere system
Lutron HomeWorks QS lighting system and Sivoia QS shading system
Meridian Digital Theatre system
Pakedge remote power control
Screen Research projection screen
Sonance DSP amplifiers and Sonarray outdoor speakers
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