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SURPRISE SUMMER HOUSE


London-based Installer, Sound Environment, has recently been involved in a unique project, filling the shell of a newly-built, multi-purpose ‘Garden Room’. Working against strict time constraints, careful design and planning was vital for the success of this ground breaking ‘fun room’ which can now play host as an entertainment space.

Contrary to the usual rubbish bin or shrubbery you may expect to find at the end of an inner London garden, one daring homeowner placed considerable space and budget into the creation of a multi-purpose summer house for the entire family to enjoy. Sound Environment was given the challenge to fit a carefully decorated and furnished area with full a AV system, including a home cinema, whilst offering a minimal and fuss free design.

With limited space, every potential fitting had to be carefully scrutinised, ensuring maximum use of space was achieved and all cabinets would be suitable to accommodate the equipment proposed. This was a particular challenge when considering storage options, which were anticipated to be in short supply. When a full cinema system was to be installed around a large format LED screen, Sound Environment was asked to present a range of screen options on the proposals, including costs and all dimensions, so the impact and size of the screen could be checked against the overall design of the room.

Sound Environment recommended the electronic equipment be installed in a 19 inch rack rather than shelves, guaranteeing absolute ease for future assemble and service. These racks also proved far more space efficient and ensured the equipment remained ventilated and kept at the correct temperature.

It was decided that the centre-piece of this “fun-house” system was a high quality Samsung 75 inch screen on a flat wall bracket. The TV had to be hung with care to ensure it lined up exactly with the horizontal lines of the designer wall-paper, and complemented the space rather than appearing oversized.

Directional sound was installed courtesy of four high quality Bowers & Wilkins M1 Satellite Speakers, with an Artcoustic centre-channel to match the profile of the screen and wall bracket. This specification of centre channel speaker was also perfect for the gaming and film watching activities of the whole family.

The main equipment rack holding all of the electronics was cleverly, custom built into the bespoke furniture, and prompted Managing Director of Sound Environment, Rufus Greenway to comment that “ at 12U high (600 x 600mm), it must be one the smallest rack areas we have ever fitted.” As space was at a premium inside the cabinetry, it was decided that a small but mighty and impressive sounding Velodyne MiroV Subwoofer be installed as a snug fit next the cabinet. Here, it is on show in Gloss White to match the Bowers & Wilkins Satellites, and provide a contrast to the room’s rich decoration and black screen and centre channel.

Control is provided via a Control4 stick remote, or an iPad which enables the homeowners to shut the system down from the main house, or to turn everything off at bed-time without needing to venture outside. The main services for internet, phone and satellite TV were taken from the main house AV rack which Sound Environment had previously updated, including splitting the Sky HD feed and sending it nearly 100 meters to the Summer House.

Within three months, an empty shell had been transformed into a fuss-free but highly entertaining living space.

www.soundenvironment.co.uk