This year the 2019 Smart Building Awards were held on the opening day of the EI Live! Show and SMC were awarded Best Media Room Over £50k for their Superheroes  Project.

Our client wanted ‘the best’ quality cinema in a multipurpose room that can still be used as a relaxed lounge area when entertaining. This upgrade project completely transformed the client’s existing media room and experience of smart home technology.

As this spec forms part of an interconnected double-height space, with one large, glazed external room the acoustic is challenging. The room has few soft furnishings and little natural sound absorption. A lover of action and superhero movies, the client wanted to be able to easily watch TV, but also have a very large, high quality front projection solution suitable for epic movie nights and multiplayer gaming. The room itself previously had an underwhelming 5.1 system that we felt needed replacing to meet the brief.


In order to provide maximum impact whilst dealing with sub-optimal equipment locations (necessitated by the shape of the room) we had to push the equipment to their limits. Projector, screen, and lifts were either at their distance tolerance points or housed in smaller, custom enclosures. A variety of remedial building work was needed in order to recess loudspeakers which needed to be managed carefully as the client was in residence and needed other systems to remain operational. We specified a bespoke acoustically-transparent, reverse (waterfall) roll screen with custom masking and ambient light rejection to deal with the tricky space and all aspect ratio requirements. Sometimes (unfortunately) suppliers let us down, and following faulty products being delivered twice by the initial screen manufacturer, we worked closely with Stewart Filmscreen to ultimately provide what was specified, which delivered at the original, lower cost.

To achieve the clients brief various pioneering technologies were employed. Steinway Lyngdorf’s room correction and custom voicings adapts for the different room uses and acoustics, for example when blinds were open, closed or when the room is packed for a party. The JVC Z1 LASER projector, with 4K HDR, allows custom set-up for different light levels and is paired with an acoustically-transparent, ambient light rejection screen. This huge screen is contained in an extremely compact custom housing concealed in a reveal. The full-strength Dolby Atmos solution brings a powerful sound experience with beautiful small cabinet and flush-mount speakers.

For this project we selected the best-in-class technology to meet the clients ‘best quality cinema’ brief. Fine audio from Steinway Lyngdorf was chosen for its reliable, bespoke, high-performance, compact and upgradeable features. The front projection screen and motorisation provided a top-quality customisable solution, particularly helpful given the tricky space and aspect ratio requirements. Lutron control of curtains and blinds provided a silent solution with tailored options for differing levels of blackout and curved curtains for double-height openings (See SMC Window Treatments). Crestron integration provided control from an iPad delivering a fully-flexible solution with content selection and simple operation of other key systems including video entry, temperature, lighting control etc. This media room wouldn’t have been complete without some gaming, so a PlayStation was included for Fortnite and Fifa.


Crestron award winner