Wellness meets comfort in this smart home

Villa Elektra transformed this light-filled home that prioritises wellness and security into a bastion of smart living with a sophisticated technology installation.

This family home in Rotterdam was designed to be a living organism, an intelligent space that could manage all aspects of the family’s life. The renovated four-bedroom dwelling combines a classical style with futuristic design. It is split in two by a long glass corridor and is filled with bright open areas containing large windows that allow natural light to flood in.

A sense of openness and space was prioritised in the renovation, demonstrated in the open-plan kitchen and dining area that makes the home feel connected as it extends around a corner to the living space.

Glass, a prominent feature in the home, is used to extend this feeling of connection. It is deployed in the form of large, inviting windows and a striking glass wall that connects the living room to the hallway, and with the glass on the staircase to the upstairs rooms. The approach continues with the office on the top floor that contains a large window and door opening out onto a balcony that offers connection with surrounding nature, as well as an escape route in case of emergencies.

Martin van Barneveld from Villa Elektra explained how the family wanted a connected home, a place where all aspects of their life were integrated within their living space. He says: “The home automation had to be aesthetically integrated into the existing architecture and interior style of the building. This has worked very well, allowing the smart technology to blend seamlessly into the overall atmosphere.”

At the heart of the residence is a plethora of Basalte home products, with the Basalte home system deployed as the main control centre and control accessed via the Basalte Home app on iPads and phones. This home features multi-room audio powered by Basalte’s Asano system, with Basalte Cielo in-ceiling speakers in every room of the house. The Asano multi-room amplifiers allow music to be played from any source, including Spotify and TV outputs, while Basalate Aalto soundbars add sound quality to the LG TVs.

Personalised control

Lighting is integrated in each room and controlled through the Basalte Home app, with the ability for specific modes of lighting to be created in individual rooms. The curtains on the large windows are integrated into the KNX system and can be controlled to presets or manually opened and closed. 

This allows for energy management and control as well as a compromise between natural light and privacy. The little touches are what make this modern dwelling feel like a home, the gas fireplace can be lit with the touch of a button, creating a cosy environment. HVAC is also integrated with the Zehnder ventilation system controlled via the Basalte Home app, which can be set to preset preferences.

Various preset home automation scenes have been created in this home to make daily life more comfortable and efficient. The scenes are designed to blend into the residents' routines; this includes ‘a good morning scene’ where the family wakes up to gently dimmed lighting, and their favourite music fills the room, while the curtains open to let in the sunlight. When the homeowners are leaving the home, the ‘leaving’ scene is activated. This turns off all lights, televisions and music. Simultaneously, the presence simulation is activated, making it seem as if someone is at home while they are away, adding a layer of security and comfort for the homeowners.

Pressing the ‘watch movie’ button on the Basalte Miro remote sets off the ‘movie scene’. The lights dim, the music turns off, the curtains close, and the movie begins. This scene allows the family to feel like they are in a cinema, making watching movies at home a special experience.

Wellness area

The highlight feature of this project is the pool area which includes a sauna and steam shower, known as the wellness area. This sauna and steam shower are also connected to the KNX system, so that the homeowners that can experience a personalised relaxing space. The pool is kept at the ideal preset temperature but can also be controlled from the app. Energy consumption is constantly monitored for ultimate efficiency.

The pool area also features water leak detection which provides the family with peace of mind and allows them to act quickly if any problems arise. The gym alongside the pool makes the whole space an oasis of wellness. There is also a ‘sauna scene’, which is controlled via the Basalte Home app. The app also shows the current temperature of the sauna, making the family feel in control of their experience.

Creating a safe home

The biggest challenge, according to van Barneveld, was automating all the different components so they worked together seamlessly and were easy to operate. This required in-depth knowledge of the KNX standard and the various compatible devices, as well as the ability to design and implement complex integrations. The challenge was to select the right components and configure them in an efficient and reliable manner.

Van Barneveld says: “It was important to make the user interface intuitive and easy to use. We wanted the residents of the home to be able to easily operate all the functions of their home automation system without having to read complicated manuals or navigate through complex menus.”

Villa Elektra was able to create a streamlined and user-friendly interface that suits the needs of the residents. The buttons and switches are stylish and intuitive, and the app provides a central hub for managing all home automation functions. Van Barneveld adds: “Through close collaboration with the residents and by using the power of KNX home automation and Basalte products, we have been able to create a home automation system that is not only functional, but also a real addition to the home.”

The home has several smart features to mitigate risk, including water damage detection. In the event of water leakage in the technology room, the homeowners will immediately receive a push notification on their smartphone and an alarm signal will be played through the speakers of the multi-room audio system. The water supply in the technical room is also automatically shut off.

The simulated presence during the family’s absence as well as the automated lighting upon intrusion detection add extra layers of security. The family also receive personalised alarm notifications on their mobile devices and camera images can be linked to their phones. The doors and windows automatically lock when the alarm is activated and there is a built-in panic mode for emergencies. Access control at the gate offers a further level of safety and control for the family.

This home is a perfect example of how integrated technologies and sophisticated programming can deliver outstanding results for clients. Automated presets and one-touch controls create a truly smart home experience, allowing residents to enjoy a technologically advanced environment with utmost ease.

Kit list

Basalte Cielo ceiling speakers

Basalte Miro remotes

Basalte Asano M4 amplifiers

Basalte Home app

Basalate Aalto soundbars

Gira KNX dimming actuators

Gira Dali gateways

Gira KNX switching actuators

Gira heating actuators

LG smart televisions

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