As this homeowner embarked on the design of their new 22,000-sq.-ft. home, they not only set aside space for a 15-seat home theater, they asked the architect to design the rest of the home around it. The result was a Ferrari-inspired home theater by Future Home that gives viewers the thrill of a high-octane ride.
The final theater room earned Future Home the Level V Silver Technical Design award for Home Theater in CEDIA’s 2014 Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition.
Before the architectural design on his new home began, the client met with Future Home to ask about the space required for an optimum private theater that would seat 15 and provide a true theatrical experience. The homeowner then took the resulting specifications for both the audience area and adjacent electronics booth to his architect and said, “Here is my theater in the basement; now design my house around it.”
The interior designer was asked to create a timeless space influenced by the Ferraris in the home’s garage adjacent to the theater. The red accents in the room are based on the red used by Ferrari, and the Ferrari shield was incorporated into details on the wall and ceiling.
Future Home took care not to dampen the room with carpeting and wall upholstery. The rear wall has a 4" thick acoustical treatment with a 1" air gap behind for full-range frequency absorption. The side walls have a combination of reflective, diffusive, and absorptive surfaces. Seating platforms are perforated to further eliminate low-frequency buildup in rear of the room. The Ferrari ceiling shields augment the room acoustics by providing a three-dimensional diffusive element.
The theater room features an isolated wall and ceiling design. Dual-layer drywall isolates the room and provides a solid wall surface that has a lower resonant absorptive frequency. HVAC ducting reduces air handler noise to barely noticeable. The room’s final NC rating from outside sources is below 20.
Intuitive control is provided by a fully automated Crestron system with a custom GUI created by Future Home. Client instruction time was less than five minutes.
Key sources and microprocessor-based components are plugged into IP-addressable power outlets. Using the theater touchpanel, the homeowner can reset any individual component instantly when needed. DirecTV, Apple TV, Blu-ray, streaming media, and the Crestron ADMS portal allow for easy access to both owned media and streaming content.
The theater’s Christie DCI series professional projector features an intelligent zoom lens, allowing for true cinemascope presentation without mechanical anamorphic lenses and with no compromise in image geometry. The fixed microperforated screen is located directly in front of the main left/center/right screen speakers surrounded by acoustical padding to minimize screen sound reflections.
The 7.1 surround-sound system includes bi-amplified main screen speakers. Besides separating the very different amplifier loads between high and mid drivers, this allowed for extremely fine room correction calibration. Each subwoofer is driven by a bridged 800-watt amplifier. Each surround-sound speaker also has its own amplifier and equalization correction channel, placed to the side of each row per THX guidelines.
The surround-sound system was calibrated using the JBL Synthesis SDEC digital room correction with multiple microphone averaging measurements. The final results exceeded the requirements for frequency response accuracy as set in the ANSI PH22.202M 1984 SMPTE standard. Besides measured frequency response, extensive listening tests were used to ensure overall timbre-matching from all speakers. Main channel speakers were aimed for optimum frequency response and imaging at the upper row, the key seating location selected by the homeowner.
The projector was calibrated using in the industry-reference Photo Research PR-655 spectroradiometer and various test pattern generators. Gamma was set to the industry reference ITU-BT.1886 standard, and colorimetry for the consumer sources was set to ITU-BT.709. With its Xenon lamp, no filters are required for accurate color, and the final screen brightness exceeded 50 ft.-lamberts, more than twice as bright as most private venues and three times brighter than the SMPTE theater standard.
Picture size for cinemascope was based on the guideline of a 30-degree field of view from key seats and no more than 40 degrees from the next row.
Project Partners: Home Technology Professional Future Home
Los Angeles Architect
Sinclair Associates Architects
Newport Beach, CA Builder
Los Angeles Interior Designer
Joan Behnke & Associates
Los Angeles Specialty Consultants
Thousand Oaks, CA