Intelligent Design, a Miami-based 13-year-old firm that displays its integration expertise to clients through an impressive multi-room center filled with home theater, smart home, commercial and marine solutions, was called upon by a client who had just moved from New York City to a home within the waterfront Auberge, a newly built ultra-luxury condominium development. “The client has a massive collection of music and movies, and is an audiophile,” explains Marc Miller, Intelligent Design’s lead systems designer and managing partner. “He had a very high aesthetic concept, and he wanted the electronics to blend within it – with the highest audio and video performance. We had to combine the best of both worlds, and make sure we hit all the notes perfectly.”
This included taking a host of measurements for neatly accommodating all the gear needed for the performance level mandated by the client, who invested a great deal on just the millwork alone in this apartment. Interiors by Steven G, the condo’s designer, created that custom millwork and all the other gorgeous finishes throughout the space.
“I’d say that 75 percent of the walls are covered with it, or with stone,” Miller says. The need to keep all the gear from appearing too prominent posed a challenge that the Intelligent Design team met with alacrity. “The TVs are recessed into the millwork, and the measurement gaps around the TVs and speakers are exacting – the precise minimum of space that we could allow to fit TVs in. We coordinated with the millwork contractor to get everything just right. We have subwoofers that are mounted behind the walls in the millwork, as well as touchscreens. All if this had to be delicately executed to get the result that we did.”
Hidden in custom-built pockets and enclosures, Lutron solar shades control the daytime light in all areas without compromising the stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. In the bedrooms, the addition of Lutron blackout shades provides privacy in the evening and darkness in the morning, ensuring a restful night’s sleep.
One workaround that Intelligent Design’s team found was a solution for getting some of the larger 10-to-15-foot motorized shades into the condo. “Freight elevators are only so big,” explains Miller, so the larger shade systems were raised up the side of the building and into the condo using a third-party company that employs brackets and weights along with a pulley system, and that “can hoist anything from shades to grand pianos.”
Control of all equipment was integrated into a Control4 automation system, with all lights, shades and climate manageable along with all the audio and video components. Control4 user interfaces include handheld remotes, on-wall and portable touchscreens, apps on mobile devices, and Alexa voice control,
Lutron Palladiom keypads and receptacles in glass finishes were specified to unobtrusively complement the millwork and stone finishes, and Lutron’s Pico remotes were added, for one-touch control of lighting and shades from tabletops and nightstands, according to Miller.
What You Don't See
Miller says the client’s delight in the end result was due his team’s “seamless integration of very high-performance equipment – and you don’t see it. It’s not what you see; it’s what you don’t.” Two racks, hidden from view, accommodate the tech workings and are tucked away in two closets, which open to the front to expose the equipment. There are also two doors at the back, on the master suite side, that, when open, expose the rear of the equipment so that it is completely accessible – and easy to troubleshoot.
“The TVs, speakers, touchscreens and keypads are integrated into the millwork, and it’s like they are not even there” – which meets the client’s highest expectations.
Miller has high praise for his partner in this installation, who is also a frequent collaborator: Interiors by Steven G. “We do many jobs with them,” he says, “and those projects include a lot of the same contractors working on the same projects. It’s a real team mentality and team feel. Everybody knows what to expect from the other members of the team, and we end up with a better finished project. You don’t have as many issues, which saves time and ultimately, money, for the client.”
- Equipment List
- Control4 OS3
- Control4 In-Wall & Portable Touch Panels
- Lutron Homeworks Lighting Control
- Lutron Palladiom Glass Keypads & Receptacles
- Lutron Savoia Homeworks QS Motorized Window Treatments
- JL Audio Fathom Subwoofers
- Leon Speakers In-Ceiling Speakers
- Leon Speakers Soundbars
- Sony TVs
- Sony Receivers
- Lyngdorf Processing & Amplification
- AC Infinity Temperature Control
- Strong Racks & Mounts