A great location and solid bones are two of the best reasons to purchase a home, no matter how unimpressive the cosmetics or electronics systems. The latter can always be changed, and so unfolded a massive renovation and luxury overhaul soon after the owners of this prime piece of Manhattan real estate moved into their outdated abode.
Measuring in at approximately 4,000 square feet and completely finished, the residence would prove challenging to redo without first some significant tear down of the walls. “Everything was stripped down to the barebones,” says Ali Jalalat from Matrix Sound & Vision, the company hired to handle the design and installation of a full-featured URC® Total Control® automation system. During the gut, Jalalat discovered a complete lack of technology. The entire residence would need to be rewired, revamped and redesigned to handle the integration of several different electronic systems. “This would be a huge project that would incorporate motorized custom shading, an architectural lighting system, plus full distribution of audio and video to several independent entertainment zones,” Jalalat explains. “The owner would basically go from having zero technology to having it all.”
The URC Solution
The URC control system needed to blend in with the exceptionally detailed architecture and interior being designed and beautiful enough to complement the apartment’s stunning 19th-story view of Central Park. Despite the extensive electronic enhancements, the owners requested the technology raise no visual conflict with the superbly updated cosmetics of the residence, nor add complications to their easy going lifestyle. In other words, the Total Control system would need to be so tightly integrated and programmed that it would serve as a natural part of the house and the owners’ everyday routine.
The Total Control system was a no-brainer for this project, says Jalalat, not only for its ability to manage a wide variety of systems, but also for its familiarity. “We had already been using URC remotes in our previous home to operate our entertainment systems, so we felt comfortable sticking with the same, reliable brand of controls,” the homeowners say. Each of seven TV locations in the renovated apartment was given its own URC TRC-1280 remote which Jalalat programmed to operate only its own local A/V equipment and lights. “When the owners pick up the remote and pull up the lighting menu it presents the controls for only the light fixtures and A/V equipment in that room,” Jalalat explains.
Flawless integration of Lutron® Radio RA2® and custom-painted shades into the Total Control operating system stepped the family up into even more intelligent forms for atmosphere control. Custom-engraved, low-profile Lutron keypads mounted at the entrance of each room are the owners’ go-to devices for quick, easy, on-the-spot operation of both the light fixtures and the motorized Lutron window shades in that area.
Nightly, all LED lights mounted in the cove in front of an expanse of living room windows activate to add visual interest. Later, bathroom and kitchen lights adjust to dim levels to ensure safe nocturnal visits. On any one of five wall-mounted URC TKP-2000 touchscreens, the owners can perform lights all on/off and shades up/down. As visitors drop in, the owners can sweep through the entire house and make it ready for entertaining in seconds, with mood music and lighting.
“This would be a huge project that would incorporate motorized custom shading, an architectural lighting system, plus full distribution of audio and video to several independent entertainment zones.” – Ali Jalalat, Owner, Matrix Sound & Vision
Favorite Music and Movies from Anywhere
From any of the touchscreens or handheld remotes the owners can access music from a URC SNP -1 Streaming Network Player, URC PSX-2 A/V Personal Server (iPod® docking station), Apple® TV and the owners’ Rotel® 5-disc CD player brought over from their previous residence. The interfaces present their options, including presets such as Larry’s Radio and Sharon’s Radio; the owners simply select what they want to hear and where they want to hear it, choosing to distribute the tunes to any or all of 10 listening zones. The URC multi-room audio system delivers the chosen piece of music to the appropriate listening zones.
Brushing the Surface
As for the cosmetic value of the Total Control system to the $3 million renovation? The modern, luxurious design of the Total Control components harmonized beautifully with the overall scheme of the multi-million dollar renovation. Stylish keypads and sleek touchscreens replaced old-fashioned wall switches and meshed perfectly with the hand-painted walls and wallpapers. Invisible Series speakers from Sonance are installed within drywall and many TVs go unnoticed until ready for use, being mounted behind gorgeous mirrors and APsinside detailed custom cabinetry. The only technology the owners ever see are their tried and trusted URC handheld remotes, plus sleek Lutron keypads and URC touchscreens. “There’s so much more the Total Control system can automate, ” Jalalat says. “For now the owners are making full use of features that to them matter most with a brand they’ve come to know and trust.”
- Marantz Receiver
- Samsung TVs
- Seura mirror TVs
- Seura Hydra TV
- Cable boxes
- Leon Sound Bar
- Sonance invisible subs
- Sonance speakers (regular and invisible)
- Rotel CD player
- Lutron keypads
- Lutron Grafik Eyes
- Lutron HVAC controls
- Lutron motorized shades and blinds
- Luxul Router
- Ubiquiti APsinside