Saturday, October 24, 2020
 Cultured Tech 

In the Northeastern Miami community of Aventura, the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based technology integrator Illusive Automation was tasked to outfit a newly built condominium whose interior was gutted to accommodate the owner’s design wishes. The clients, a professional couple with three children, were extremely appreciative of audio and art, and made it clear to Anthony Kotsonas, president of the seven-year-old tech firm, that they wanted their love of both to be couched in a fully integrated environment that afforded them total – but unobtrusive – control not only of audio and video entertainment, but also of lighting, temperature and window treatments.

“Ultimately, they were very big into music. They wanted it everywhere,” explained Kotsonas, who, with his team, had to strike a balance in designing the control system that would work for the couple – one of whom was “all about the tech stuff” and the other who was not tech-savvy at all. So the Illusive team turned to Savant for a full-blown integration solution, to effect audio and video distribution throughout the home. The planning in this 5,500-square-foot property encompassed a family room, den, bar area, formal living room, and a Dolby Atmos media room – taking advantage there of the audio industry’s most cutting-edge products to replicate the audio-all-around-and-above-you immersive experience that technology can yield.

The family includes aficionados of Classic Rock, said Kotsonas, and the premises’ artwork honors this interest, with images of artists of that era decorating the walls. The Illusive Automation team also created a work of art of sorts with its design of dual equipment racks. One contains all the system amplification and the other, all the Savant gear and cable boxes – and it is spotlighted as such with LED lighting designed to call attention to it as a conversation piece. Also inspiring conversation: the media room’s stunning fiber optic 3D starfield ceiling.

 Media Room Magic 

For the media room, said Kotsonas, “the client’s biggest request was audio, but without having to see the speakers. The other thing we did was to hide the Sony 4K projector with a Future Automation motorized lift, which the contractors built the enclosure for, and we handled the control for.”

Sony’s 4K OLED TVs were also incorporated into various rooms, and Savant IP video tiling was a feature on all the displays, said Kotsonas.

“The clients also requested fully automated lighting control,” Kotsonas said. “That was extremely important to them, and one thing they really emphasized.” Illusive’s experts were also commissioned to integrate the Savant control system with all the window treatments in the entire unit.

Portability of control throughout the premises was also a point of design emphasis. “We did iPads and iPorts on the walls, but the clients had the ability to take these off the walls and walk around the house with them,” said Kotsonas. The bedrooms were also outfitted with Savant REM-2000 remotes.

The fact that the technology installation was factored into the project from the beginning, along with Illusive Automation’s familiarity and comfort level with the design firm involved in the project, made for all-around smooth sailing. “We’ve worked frequently with them and they are one of the largest design firms in all of Florida. They also recommend us to other people,” said Kotsonas.

There were very few hiccups end to end, he said. “It was nothing too intense. They seemed really happy with us, and we got it done.”

  • Equipment List
  • Barco Projectors
  • Burmester Amplifier (Living Room)
  • Dynamat Dynabox (for all Origin Acoustics In-Ceiling Speakers)
  • Future Automation Motorized Lift
  • James Loudspeaker 7.1-Channel Surround Speakers
  • JL Audio Subwoofers (Media Room, Family Room, Den, Bar Area and Formal Living Room)
  • Lutron QS Lighting Control
  • Origin Acoustics In-Ceiling and In-Wall (for 8 Stereo Music Zones)
  • Pakedge Network Backbone
  • Ruckus Wi-Fi
  • Savant Integration with IP Video Distribution (to all Displays & IP Audio Distribution)
  • Simplified Acoustics 3D Starfield Fiber Optic Ceiling (Media Room)
  • Somfy Window Treatments
  • Sony 4K OLED TVs
  • Sony VPL-VW885ES Laser 4K Projector
  • Stewart 110-inch Fixed Projection Screen with
  • Wisdom Audio In-Wall Speakers (Living Room)