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Irish Castle - CEDIA Award Winner

January 30, 2009 By Brooke Lange



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The room is fashioned after Temple Bar, the local Irish pub named after the eponymous Dublin neighborhood that is renowned for its boisterous restaurant-and-tavern scene.
“It’s interesting how the owner said he didn’t need another TV originally,” says the architect, “and then he went crazy with the projection screen.”

2008 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Award Winner

Hidden Installation: Silver Technical Design & Best Overall Winner

Electronic Systems Consultant: Amnet Technology Systems—Stamford, Conn.

Say your wife is pushing you to renovate a little-used room into a beautiful retreat that you can enjoy every day. And you’re a former Fordham University football player. And you love the architectural detailing of New Haven’s famed Temple Bar. The answer is simple: Just build a tavern-like space with lots of TVs, right? Not quite...

“The owner wanted a room that looked like it had a history,” says architect Steve Gibson of Neil Hauck Architects. “He wanted a room like no one else had.” And that meant the space couldn’t be equipped with a flat-screen TV—especially since every other room in the house already had one.

The room is fashioned after Temple Bar, the local Irish pub named after the eponymous Dublin neighborhood that is renowned for its boisterous restaurant-and-tavern scene.

The room is fashioned after Temple Bar, the local Irish pub named after the eponymous Dublin neighborhood that is renowned for its boisterous restaurant-and-tavern scene.

Judging by the looks of this room, the man of the house is evolved. He appreciates fine design, and clearly he respects his wife’s aesthetic sensibilities.

But deep inside, this guy is a manly man—he loves sports and he loves technology. So the challenge here was to marry history with modern creature comforts.

Once the owner approved the architect’s “Gothic Tudor” design approach, the architect started studying the architecture of local cathedrals.

Gibson used custom-cast Indiana limestone for the arch of the expansive picture window and the fireplace.

Oil-rubbed quarter- sawn oak frames the room; the intricately designed wall paneling and shelving is fashioned after those Gibson found in local cathedrals.

The herringbone floor boasts an inlaid walnut border, and the stained-glass window is a copy of the family crest.

“We were trying to design the room so it looked like it had been there a couple hundred years,” says the architect.

That meant that none of the surround-sound system’s Triad Silver 6 speakers, nor the custom 110-inch Stewart motorized projection screen, could be visible to the eye unless, of course, that all-important Fordham football game is in play at the time.

Electronic systems consultant Alex Sulpizi of Amnet Technology Systems custom-engineered the room’s speaker compartments so they blend into the coffered ceiling without notice. He did the same for the projector enclosure, carefully incorporating it into the coffered ceiling (only the lens of the Sharp-Vision XV-Z2000 projector is visible).

The screen drops down in front of the picture window quietly and seamlessly with the touch of a button on the AMX touchscreen.

“In-walls were not an option,” says the electronic systems consultant. “Nor was speaker fabric due to the walls’ elaborate woodworking. It is more of a challenge to put all the speakers in the ceiling… but Triad designed those precisely for this kind of application.”

“It’s interesting how the owner said he didn’t need another TV originally,” says the architect, “and then he went crazy with the projection screen.”

Sulpizi strategically positioned the system’s two Triad subwoofers along the media room’s side walls in cleverly designed enclosures that resemble 17th-century tables.

“The sound is precise,” he says of the Triad speakers, adding that the window bump-out was added specifically to accommodate the projector screen. “It’s specially designed to be a blackout [shade]. It doesn’t allow light into the room or interview with the projection image.”

Positioning the screen at the far end of the room provides a complexity of design layers, as well as functional layers. Plop down on the sofa or in a club chair to enjoy the fireplace and the outdoor view while sipping a scotch. Or prop up your feet and enjoy the big game and the roaring fire.

“What drove the design aspect of this project is that all of the technology had to be invisible,” says the electronic systems consultant.

“Nothing we did was an after-thought. The room has the [sound and picture] quality of a dedicated home theater, but you don’t see the technology until you need to.”

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