Located in Atlanta’s elite district of Buckhead, leading home technology integration firm, @Audio, Automation & Theater (@AAT) was engaged by the new homeowner of a penthouse occupying the top two floors of the recently completed stunning glass tower, touted as the tallest building in Atlanta’s financial district.
Every aspect of this 10,000-square-foot-plus penthouse is thoughtfully designed from the interior architecture to the technologies that enable simple and easy-to-use control of the home’s lifestyle and entertainment and systems.
A Glass Tower
Floor to ceiling walls of glass with a view of Atlanta and beyond might be a homeowner’s dream, but could have been a nightmare for an AV integration company tasked to ensure a clean design with all electronics hidden when not in use. Taking advantage of the sweeping views, the living space is an open plan.
These homeowners didn’t only want an architectural showcase, they wanted a comfortable home, and to be able to watch TV during the middle of the day, or kick back and watch a movie at night on a 120-inch screen in the main living space. One might think the only solution would be a windowless dedicated home theater with complete control over lighting. Think again.
Choosing the Best Projector
As with any display, whether a flat screen or projector the environmental conditions of the room and the intended use are huge factors. “You have to be very conscious of ambient light, and you need to be conscious of screen size; there are all these things you have to consider in design,” says Kevin Collins, founder of @AAT. As a 25-year AV industry veteran, Collins notes, “There has always been a trade off in that I could give you a small screen with great quality or I can give you a large screen that makes it look like you are watching a movie, but you sacrifice quality. Or the reverse scenario: I could give you a small screen with very high light output and you can watch almost whenever you want or you can do a very large screen, but it’s very limited in when you can view it.”
Collins says, “You can look at the environment and say to yourself, ‘because of the ambient light and the size of the screen, and I need such and such contrast level,” then you just simply look at Digital Projection (DP) products and you’ll find something that fits those specifications.” For the demanding room environment, Collins chose the, 20,000 ANSI lumen, Digital Projection TITAN Quad projector for the main living room space.
The DP 20,000 lumen TITAN Quad projector is more often specified into professional theatrical productions, military simulations, broadcast television and outdoor entertainment venues. To that Collins says, “We produce luxury items, and as far as a luxury item goes DP projectors are nice because there are no limiting factors. There’s no, ‘We can do 90 percent of what you want.’” Paired with a custom high-end Stewart Filmscreen projection screen, the living room video entertainment is an elite experience.
While @AAT’s focus is creating and delivering easy-to-use, state-of-the-art technology lifestyle experiences for its elite homeowner clients, high performance has always been front-and-center. The ability to deliver the highest performing AV led to @AAT providing the spectacular audio and video productions for an area Porsche dealership to launch new model Porsche’s for the past several years. “We used a DP 20,000 lumen TITAN QUAD to project an almost 50-foot custom video produced by the Porsche creative team of the latest 911 racing around a test track and stunning road footage,” says Collins. “That’s what I am talking about when I say, ‘performance.’ Those 20,000 lumens of light output, combined with the unmatched image quality of the DP TITAN QUAD delivered an experience that launch event attendees will remember.”
All Teams Working Together
It is not uncommon to hear of interior designers and architects sometimes being at odds with AV technology integrators when it comes to clean design and AV equipment. But this was a symbiotic relationship. “We were in on the ground floor. When it was a big empty space, we started working with general contractor Malone Construction Company, Kuo Diedrich Architects, and Wendy Blount Interior Design, as well as many other designers,” says Dan Cater, the project manager at @AAT who oversaw the installation from beginning to end. “We met as a unified team and kept refining the whole project, came up with a game plan and took it from there.”
"Every meeting was productive and very exciting. When the project was complete, being able to meet and exceed the client's needs was extremely rewarding, especially for a project of this size,” Jaclyn Schnirring, Head of Operations for @AAT.
Based on the homeowner’s direction, all teams worked towards a modern look and feel. “They wanted a nice, clean look with less clutter, so we designed it so that the projectors would be hidden,” says Cater. “Tough the living room has very high ceilings, “We’ve got the screen tucked into the tray that surrounds the room.”
In addition to the projection screen being tucked away in the ceiling, a Crestron automated shading system lowers from the same area. Cater stresses that given the walls were all glass, we really wanted them to get a DP projector because it is very bright and the image is very watchable during the day with all the shades up.
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