The construction of four contemporary apartments has earned recognition for Mosaic Audio & Visual at the 2017 CEDIA Awards. The London-based integrator, who won Best Multiple Dwelling Unit Design, was praised for the achievement which the judging panel felt: "Epitomises how technology should be installed in a project. We had to search for any sight of it".
Soho is a fashionable area in London's West End, long established as the heart of London's theatre and entertainment district and location for many film and media companies. Because of its central position, and lively atmosphere generated by the numerous restaurants and bars, it is also a popular residential area.
The client wanted to create four high-specification apartments, incorporating state-of-the-art technology, which would appeal to the typical Soho resident as a week-day home or occasional weekend city pad. The two key elements to the brief were, firstly, to design a luxurious living space where all lighting, heating, AV, and access could be controlled easily and intuitively. Secondly, as space was at a premium, to make all technology and control panels as unobtrusive as possible.
Mosaic Audio & Visual was involved in the project from the outset to ensure that any necessary wiring and hardware could be fully integrated into the building during the construction phase. A robust, scalable network infrastructure was created incorporating a Pakedge switch; designed to meet the demands of high bandwidth applications.
The integrator specified a KNX-based building management system (BMS) to include the different home automation applications and enable simple, centralised control. Conscious of making the technology as "invisible" as possible, the ABB KNX enclosure was integrated into the joinery of each apartment while the equipment rack was hidden within a cupboard.
One of the key advantages of KNX is that each system can be personalised for each of the properties. It also offers the ability to easily add new services into the existing infrastructure, and reconfigure settings and preferences at a future date should ownership change.
The residents of each of the apartments can enjoy a luxurious living environment with a choice of automated or easily adjustable lighting and heating preferences. This has been achieved by integrating all HVAC services, including boilers, pumps, underfloor heating, and electric towel rails through the BMS. These work in conjunction with a combination of Basalte, Gira, and Zennio motion and brightness detection sensors and temperature probes. The floor probes, for example, also serve to provide safety readings.
It is possible to set up different atmosphere modes, with pre-defined temperatures and lighting, for example, night-time or "standby" when the home is empty. The heating can also be programmed according to a timer or to adjust automatically to "comfort" if there are lots of people in a room. This means that the occupants also benefit from lower running costs as energy is only consumed when it is needed.
The AV system comprises a stunning 50" Panasonic 4K TV, delivering outstanding Ultra HD picture quality; wall-mounted using a slim-line bracket. To enhance the sound and overall enjoyment of the television, Mosaic Audio & Visual has added a discreet custom-width Triad soundbar. All of the rooms have been fitted with discreet Niles CM7 in-ceiling, high-definition speakers. In the living room, these help create a surround sound effect. Furthermore, a Denon AV receiver helps create an incredible, immersive audio quality.
A Control4 EA-3 controller, combined with a Control4 matrix amplifier, integrates control of the different elements of the AV system and enables high resolution music to be played throughout the property; either from local music sources or streaming services. Another innovative feature is an "audio follow" option whereby the music will move with an occupant between rooms; enabled by the Basalte Auro sensors. The AV system can also be operated through a Control4 app on an iPad mini.
The touchscreens have been programmed to simplify operation of all common functions for each of the services, such as on/off, and plus/minus arrow buttons to adjust levels. There is also intuitive control of scheduling and scene setting to create an instant ambiance.
The integrator has completed the brief to create a luxurious living environment for a prime London district to the highest standard. The technology is as close to invisible as possible, and in the words of the judges has been "excellently finished with design friendly aesthetics".