An incredibly complex and technically challenging smart home installation saw Andrew Lucas create a vast, sprawling web of interconnected technology within the grand façade of a large, detached home set on its own beautiful estate.
As part of the property’s modernisation, the interior was completely redesigned and rethought, with a large basement extension including a pool & wellness area, a temperature-controlled wine cellar and a stunning three-tiered home cinema room-cum-panic room – the first of its kind to feature 48 distinct audio channels (provided by two Trinnov AV processors).
The challenge faced by Andrew Lucas was to create a home that mixed the property’s traditional look and feel with the latest in modern convenience. As a result, the home’s grand ballrooms and beautiful oak-panelled hallways hide away a wealth of technology under the surface, supplying automatic control of all aspects of the property – from lighting and heating to AV and all manner of third-party integration.
The entire house has been upgraded to provide all of the comforts of the modern smart home. In such a sprawling property, this required incredibly complex programming and seamless integration with a whole host of systems, including heating and ventilation systems and even CCTV.
The property’s technological focus is immediately apparent as soon as you reach the front gate, where a BPT entry system panel allows visitors to ring through to several touch panels within the house and speak to the occupants. From here, the homeowners can converse with their guests and control the gate and bollard that block entry to the property. This system can also double as an public announcement system inside, allowing internal communication between different areas of the house.
In such a large property, lighting and shading is paramount. As well as controlling local lights and shades through several personalised Lutron keypads in each room, the homeowners are able to manage all of the lights, shades and awnings in the house from anywhere using the Crestron app on their phones. In the pool and courtyard areas, an amBx controller creates impressive 3D sound-to-light effects, matching RGB lighting with the music being played.
In the kitchen, a smart glass ‘pantry’ has been added, with glass walls that be can be rendered transparent or opaque depending on whether the homeowners want the food preparation area to be visible from the rest of the kitchen/lounge space.
Both speaker and video systems are provisioned for across almost every room in the property, with several unique zones allowing several forms of entertainment to be played simultaneously in different parts of the home. These distinct zones include the home cinema and three premium audio zones: a 5.2 system in the family room with different settings for music and movie playback, a lounge with a client-supplied B&O AV system (including a 4K Eclipse TV unit with a pair of Beolab 18 speakers), and a full Steinway Lyngdorf Model C floor-standing speaker system in the library.
In the lounge, a sliding panel system has been put in place to hide the TV set out of sight when not in use; similarly, in two bedrooms a TV lift have been integrated into the foot of the bedframe to achieve the same effect. In the main bedrooms, the audio being played through the speakers (whether music or from video sources) can be routed to up to two Bluetooth headphones per room through the smart home’s user interface.
In the pool area, a futuristic cover emerges from the pool floor when activated by the room’s keypad. Speakers have been installed both in the walls and underwater, which each zone able to be adjusted for a seamless listening experience both in and out of the water.
In such a prestigious property, security was always going to be of utmost concern. As such, whole areas of the house – including the master suite and the cinema room – have been designed with blast-proof doors so they can instantly be sealed off to intruders. As well as physical panic buttons, double-press buttons on the interface also activate a hold-up alarm, while 24 CCTV camera feeds can be viewed on TVs and touch panels around the house.
As well as the hardware itself, several whole-house automated processes have been integrated to make life easier for the occupants. These include a Holiday Mode (which locks down the house and sets the alarm), an Away Mode (which turns off lighting and AV systems) and Prepare (which gets the house set up and ready for the user’s arrival).
One of the most intricate and technically demanding projects Andrew Lucas has undertaken to date, Elm Park is the perfect example of how retrofitting smart home technology into a property doesn’t have to be a compromise.
Technology used in the property
Distributed video and audio
High-quality audio zones
Intelligent lighting control
IT network with robust Wi-Fi and VPN
CCTV security system
Home Cinema Room
Bespoke entry system
Bang & Olufsen
Bowers & Wilkins