With a tip of the helmet to George Lucas’s Star Wars, this luxurious Canadian theater looks as good as it performs. High performance design, materials and electronics combine to create a fantastic multi media theater experience.
What is the single most important factor in achieving this kind of level of performance and luxury? The right client, of course.
We were lucky enough to partner with a client with vision, patience and a fun attitude that made the project not only rewarding for everyone involved. It ensured there was never a race to complete – at the expense of the final result, and the time spent on the details, really show!
Starting with a void in an unfinished basement, the client and K&W sat down, to explore what could be created. The meetings that followed were collaborative brainstorms, with the client offering up as many great ideas as K&W.
K&W Audio dove right in, offering options, twists and design concepts to bring it all together. This open exchange of ideas allowed the project to progress thru all stages, with everyone involved having the same vision of the project.
This theater, and the rest of the home’s electronics system was a partnership between K&W, and the client from the start, and it was a ton of fun. While we provided design concepts, construction, acoustic modeling, elevation and sight line plans, lighting fixtures, low and high voltage lighting, gear, setup, programming etc, the client contributed a lot too.
Not least of those areas, the client had a concept for unique electronics cabinets, doubling as glass cases for Darth Vader and Tie fighter pilots helmets along with creating a focal point for the Master Replicas Han Solo in cobonite (taken from the actual movie prop). Those elements help make the room special. Every step of the way, from sconce design to fabric choices, the client was consulted and actively involved – so it really ended up being his custom built and tailored theater.
The theater’s design started with a plan. The concept with was to incorporate the unique Han Solo movie and other Star wars props (helmets behind the dark glass in the cabinets) into a theater design, without ever becoming campy. Oh… and high performance was a must too! The custom designed wall treatments create an acoustically correct playback environment, and mimic the interior of the Millennium Falcon Starship, for those with a keen eye. Bass traps on the bottom, dampers, reflectors and absorbers all hidden behind the soft suede fabric serve their acoustic purpose while enhancing the room’s esthetics too.
Lighting plays a big role in creating the right mood. Mechanical design, fixtures and scene programming, are all critical elements not underestimated in this theater. From the floor mounted lights that dramatically light Han’s frozen cell and Darth Vader’s helmet under glass to the indirect coffer and floor lighting – the sense of wonder evoked by a night at the movies is conveyed here with style! Pannelized lighting control using back lit key pads, indirect cabinet and sconce lighting, correct placement of the pot lights, and proper light ’zoning” are among the litany of thoughtful touches that ensure the theater looks it’s best, and you don’t ever end up fumbling in the dark!
Each design process from lighting, to the interior to the control system took time, with many drawings and concepts tried, floated, shot down, modified and finally adopted into the final plan. Many of the construction details are subtle and all a result of thoughtful design. Notice how the screen seems to be pressing into the room, with a clever use of black acoustic fabric, surrounding the screen? This is a fresh way to present the screen, the single most dominant element in a home theater, in contrast to the standard of building a cabinet around it.
All of the front speakers needed custom compound shapes cut into them to make it look as if they were being enveloped from behind. Correct speaker placement, with the audiophile live end/ dead end acoustic design, mixed with subtle additions that complement the dipolar dispersion of the speakers and optimize the systems sound field…that means it sounds great.
Even the doors are custom made and massive, plus light tight for no loss in sound or picture, (similar to doors used in recording studios), ensuring minimum sound transfer to the rest of the home as well.
After all that work, the final result shows that the ends do in fact, justify the means.