The brief was to produce a high-quality cinema that could double as an area where his extended family and guests could play party games – charades and X-factor parodies. The installation was to take place in a dilapidated, yet listed, old garage. It needed to be isolated from the adjacent main dwelling, and completed in a few weeks.
The building and surroundings are beautiful, and everyone felt we should try and keep the feel of the space, which meant that we had a difficult geometrical challenge siting a projector. We modelled the building quickly in 3D, showing a new bulkhead fixed to the existing brick arch. This wouldn’t be ‘read’ as one entered the room, or indeed from the viewing position, but would enable us to have a very wide screen with the shortest throw possible. Client feedback was obtained which allowed us to proceed with this design.
This arrangement allowed us to raise the screen above a dais-type stage, and put the screen at the right viewing position for the audience, who we placed on tiered seating. This all added a bit of drama, and taking advantage of the height allowed us to ensure everyone got a great experience. We left an area in front of the dais, specifying easily-moveable leather bean-bags, which can be used for game play and younger viewers.
Providing the very large screen meant that we wouldn’t be able to house traditional AV racks in the space (in fact the areas either side of the screen can be used for storage), so two separate equipment compartments were designed – one specially constructed location under the stage with forced ventilation out through the building’s side walls, and a second client-accessible location for disc players, games consoles etc. A small compartment in the integrated side table by the main seats allows storage of games controllers, chargers, connection of PC and iPod, and 3D glasses.