Transforming a One Bedroom NYC Apartment into a High Tech Getaway
Sometimes the smaller the project, the more difficult the installation. For David Mills of Kraus Hi-Tech Home Automation, fitting everything the client wanted into a one-bedroom, 600-sq.-ft. apartment in the Upper West Side in New York City took both innovation and creativity. Connected Design talked with Kraus to find out more about what techniques and technology he used. (Also enjoy the video provided by creative producer John Frattasi to take a deeper dive into this project).
Our Director, David Mills spoke with Erinn Loucks, Chief Editor, Connected Design
What was the goal for this project?
Mills: “The goal on all our projects is to divine the client’s wishes and overdeliver. We always take the position as if we are the client’s honest broker, and our driving principle is to always do what is best for the client, even if it means realigning the client’s expectations. On this particular project the client had a very specific set of goals which did not need much development. Our overriding goal here was to help the client realize his vision.”
What were you challenged by?
Mills: The physical challenges were paramount in this project. We had to shoehorn two large screens and two short throw projectors into a small space. We included two small soffits, which were built to house the projector and front speakers. Because the projectors were recessed up into the soffit, we needed to devise a custom projector mount that would allow us to install and align the projector without having access to the bracket once installed. A big challenge was that the two opposing screens both had a 5.1 surround system. We needed to devise a way to swap the orientation of all five speakers when the user switches audio from one to the other, so we used a large audio matrix and a bunch of custom code. When the user switches sound focus from one screen to the other, the front left and right now become the rears for the other screen, and the rears of the other screen now become the fronts, left and right. Both sides have a center channel that is only active when that screen has the focus.
What aspects of design did you implement?
Mills: “All of our designs are built to be robust and simple to use. Our technology should always blend into a home and never detract from the aesthetic principles the owner is looking to achieve. We build redundancy and remote repair capabilities into each system.”
What was your favorite part of this project?
Mills: “My favorite part of every project is the transition to ownership. I get to show the owner how to use his system, and I enjoy watching their amazement or joy when they realize they got what they wanted.”