Sunday, September 20, 2020
  Appeasing the Programmer   

The client, who commissioned the Atlantic Control Technologies team to incorporate modern-day technology into the design of this penthouse suite, which sits atop a high-rise apartment in Rosslyn, Va., came to the integrator with some very specific directives.

The requests were inspired and founded in the homeowner being both a programmer by trade, as well as an aficionado of retro video gaming consoles – which led to the engineering on Atlantic’s part of some highly customized control solutions that answered each specified need.

The design features of this home are striking - from authentic monolithic fossils that are thousands of years old, to a sauna room patterned in true Japanese fashion, to a personal library with thousands of volumes, to the most modern design appointments available today.

The challenge was to marry the aesthetic chosen for the design of the home with technology that would perfectly match and complement it, and Atlantic selected Crestron to achieve this blend.

The client had several specific product requests pertaining to control. They included: that a rare Bang and Olufsen TV be operable with a proprietary rotary remote; that a custom input panel be hidden in a flip-top touch panel for gaming entertainment; and that there be customized security entry, camera mounts, and more. Crestron provided a seamless way of integrating all of these reliably and for an intuitive end-user experience.

This home is truly stunning in so many ways. The panorama from the penthouse encompasses all of Washington, D.C. from Georgetown to the North, to the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery to the South. This encapsulating prospect of the nation’s capital cannot be seen from any other vantage point. It is a unique perspective that this homeowner indulges in daily, from an open-floor plan and through 180 degrees of floor-to-ceiling windows that provide an apt looking glass for this spectacular vista.

The technology in this home is no less spectacular, and it perfectly complements the space. There were several unique pieces of technology that were fluidly controlled. The 85-inch Bang and Olufsen imported TV rests on a proprietary swivel mount, and the client specifically requested this TV, asking that it be controlled via the B&O Essence rotary remote - an audio remote that had to be converted into a TV remote.

Because the remote can only communicate through a proprietary companion gateway, it meant that there needed to be an intricate web of infrastructure. Both the connections for this remote and the program written to command it were complex; essentially, Atlantic turned a traditional step menu into one that could open floor via rotary commands.

The client also requested the ability to play retro gaming consoles on this TV. These consoles connect to outmoded displays through outmoded analog connections that don’t exist as features on modern digital displays. As a result, Atlantic fashioned a custom flip-top touch panel that contained these old connections in one custom input panel.

In addition, there needed to be an RF demodulator that simulated an analog TV setting on a modern digital one. This complicated, unique interaction was handled competently by the control system and custom program.

In the traditional Japanese sauna room, there was a special audio consideration. The painted glass panels in the ceiling, added as a stylish aesthetic by the designer, made installing traditional in-ceiling speakers impossible. So the Atlantic team used the glass panels themselves to reproduce the sound, through installing Sold Drive sound transducers to transform the glass panels into massive speakers.

Entry to the space is provided by a custom door station manufactured by the German company Siedle. This station allows for camera viewing, talkback, keyless entry and more. When the doorbell is pressed, the various touch panels in the home display the camera view from the Siedle door station. The user can then automate the door lock. The control system also controlled the other various sub-systems in the home, like lighting, shades, etc.

In addition, there are several other subsystems in the home that the client benefits from daily. The house audio, for example, consists of in-ceiling, architectural series speakers (including an array of in-ceiling subwoofers). This home has massive sound with plenty of balanced low-range frequencies, multiple zones of audio, streaming capabilities, and more, all at one’s fingertips.

The shade control of this home is another major element, as it goes hand in hand with the majestic, historic and immersive view from the apartment suite. The windows help to plunge the viewer into the surrounding environment and give a sensation of floating on top of the city of Washington.

With these glass windows comes the necessity for light and climate control – a control element that gives the user the ability to customize that breathtaking view all day long, whether that be starting the day to a sunrise or creating ambiance for a socialite cocktail party in the evening.

For this owner, control is a simple and thoroughly enjoyable experience.

  • Equipment List
  • Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Avant 85 Display
  • Bang & Olufsen Essence Remote Rotary Remote
  • Bowers + Wilkins 804D3 In-Room Speaker
  • Bowers + Wilkins CCM7.4, CWM7.4 In-Ceiling, In-Wall Speakers
  • Velodyne Optimum 8 Subwoofer
  • Krell Foundation 4K Processor Pre-Amp
  • Krell Chorus 7200 Amp
  • Kaleidescape Alto Media Player
  • Kaleidescape KVault DV700 Media Player
  • Crestron FT-TS600 Touch Panel
  • Blonder Tongue RF Demodulator
  • Sonance AS38RS Architectural Speaker
  • Sonance BPS6 Subwoofer
  • Sielde STL15045232 Custom Entry Station
  • Vivotek VC8201 IP HD Camera
  • Ubiquiti Unifi AC Network Components