Project location: St. Louis

Project budget: $62,500

Unusual situations or problems:

Our client wanted to create a room that was optimized for audio performance without the need for traditional acoustic treatments. He described these treatments as a painting without a painting. Even with custom screen-printed options, none really suited the aesthetics of the space. The room started off with a traditional Theatre feel: columns, drapes, etc. but morphed into an oceanic mural by the time the design was ready to implement. Building delays caused installation delays, however we were able to complete the project in just enough time to meet the deadline for the 2010 awards. The client is thrilled and loves every square inch of his Home Cinema.

Summary of the project:

Our client sought to enjoy a similar experience from a local boutique-style movie theater inside his home on somewhat of a limited budget and with keen aesthetic concerns. He wanted to be immersed in the movie, which required a performance level, both sonically and visually, that pleased the musicians ears with as much detail that would be placed in the mural itself. With one of his favorite colors being blue lapis, this became the foundation of the color palette. An asymmetric curved ceiling, unparallel walls, floating screen, and the mural are all unique elements of the room that provides an undulating, floating feeling as if being in the ocean.

The audio system features drivers with high sensitivity allowing them to play with clean precision at any volume level. This system resulted in an experience that cannot only be heard, but also felt – especially at reference level. The massive 160-inch, 2.40:1, high-gain screen and anamorphic lens produce a picture that immerses the viewer in the theater experience. Accent lighting radiates behind the sides of the screen and spills from the ceiling to the walls from dimmable LED strip lights, all controlled from the same handheld remote that operates the theater.

With the mural as one design element that would not change, the rooms overall design had to facilitate the best acoustic properties possible. Side-walls were angled in toward the screen and an asymmetrical ceiling was built in the attempt to reduce standing waves and add an aesthetic element to the room, while the thick-pile carpet and pad were used to absorb some of the sound energy in the room. The screen floats on three custom-made, steel brackets attached to the back wall, creating a floating screen effect. Since part of this wall houses the front speakers and subwoofers, extra care was taken to glue, gasket and caulk all of the materials to minimize vibration. The speaker wall was then lined with Linacoustic batting to help absorb speaker reflections from the screen.

With a limited budget, our client received a system with exceptional audio and video performance, maximizing the potential for the room despite the absence of traditional acoustical treatments. The audio system is the most worthy of recognition. It remains articulate through the entire volume range, with sheer force that pounds ones chest when listening at reference levels. Floating the screen off of the wall, with illumination behind it, adds a unique sense of depth that could not be achieved with a traditional flat-wall. This cool, wow factor, brings the movie to the audience instead of going to the movies.

List of Products used:

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Integra
Model#: DHC-80.1
Product Description: 9.2 Channel Preamplifier/Processor

Qty: 4
Manufacturer: Pro Audio Technology by Professional Home Cinema
Model#: DPA-202
Product Description: Main and surround channel amplifiers

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Pro Audio Technology
Model#: DPA-1002
Product Description: Subwoofer amplifier

Qty: 3
Manufacturer: Pro Audio Technology
Model#: SCRS-26im
Product Description: LCR loudspeaker

Qty: 2
Manufacturer: Pro Audio Technology
Model#: SCRS-6iw
Product Description: Surround loudspeaker

Qty: 2
Manufacturer: Pro Audio Technology
Model#: LFC-15sm
Product Description: 15-inch passive subwoofer

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: OPPO
Model#: BDP-83
Product Description: Blu-ray Disc Player

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Tivo
Model#: TCD746320
Product Description: Tivo Premiere Series 4 DVR

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: BenQ
Model#: W6000
Product Description: Single-chip DLP 1080p projector

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Screen Innovations
Model#: CRF160GM
Product Description: Cinema reference screen, 2.40:1 aspect, Gamma Maestro fabric, 160-inch diagonal image

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Panamorph
Model#: F480SYS
Product Description: Fixed Anamorphic Lens system

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: APC
Model#: S15BLK
Product Description: Power Conditioner with Battery Backup

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: APC
Model#: G5BLK
Product Description: Rackmount Power Filter

Lowell rack with Middle Atlantic custom shelves