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With the Utmost Simplicity

Contemporary vancouver home offers sophisticated and discrete blend of technology

Marriage changes everything, even residential systems integration.

So it was for a LaScala Integrated Media, the Vancouver-based integrator designing and installing systems throughout the province of British Columbia, Canada. The completion of a “cleanup and simplification project” for a local client in his bachelor digs,

The AMX touchscreen, which is programmed with the floorplan of the Vancouver home, also can activate lighting, shades, security, door gate function, and music. followed by a small project for the client’s father, led to a $400,000 project in a new contemporary home.

“The client is a Vancouver-based developer, and after he married and started a family he contacted us about his new family home,” explained LaScala sales representative/systems designer Patrick Tasci. “He was very involved in the design. His family is of Italian heritage and he wanted to focus on the kids, planning the layout with entertainment spaces for them and for his large extended family. And he wanted easy-to-use systems.”

The stunning, 10,000-square-foot, threestory West Coast-style contemporary home is located in upscale West Vancouver. It features an enclosed pool, theater, and game room. LaScala’s system design for the home includes an AMX control system, Lutron lighting and shade control, distributed audio, ReQuest music server, security system, and several media systems for the family room, master bedroom, and study.

Working with Vancouver interior designer Robert Ledingham, the LaScala team created a design to complement the open floor plan, Tasci said. “When you first come into the home, you’re in a large family room with a white stone fireplace in which the gas flames appear to float. We didn’t want to detract from that so we installed a 65-inch Panasonic plasma over the fireplace.

An 8.5-inch wireless touchscreen on the wall of the adjacent kitchen allows the family to view the TV in surround sound from a kitchen island. The screen, which is programmed with the floor plan of the home, also can activate lighting, shades, security, door gate function, and music. The kitchen includes a 15-inch TV on a cantilevered bracket and Niles Audio in-ceiling speakers. A small breakfast room also offers listening capability.

The client’s office, large enough for business meetings, includes a small media system with a 32- inch LCD and another 8.5-inch wireless touchscreen. For the formal dining room, an oft-used spot for entertaining and family gatherings, the client requested a stealth tech installation, Tasci said.

“The Lutron keypad at the entry to the room acts as a volume control, because it’s a formal area,” he explained. “We have two discreet in-ceiling speakers, and we control music through the keypad; we programmed the keypad’s raised lower button to act as

The stunning, 10,000-square-foot, three-story West Coast-style contemporary home is located in upscale West Vancouver. It features an enclosed pool, theater, and game room. a volume control. From the same simple Lutron keypad the client can raise or lower audio, lights, and shades. We often provide that in secondary rooms such as dining rooms and bathrooms. Most people don’t make listening decisions in those areas. By keeping the tech clean in these secondary rooms, costs are reduced.”

From the master bedroom touchscreen, the client can view all TVs, and all music in the home, including the room’s 55-inch TV. A music button in the bathroom activates at a preset level with a raised button for volume levels. “This approach often allows us to put a larger touchscreen in a primary area because there is a small one in the secondary room,” Tasci added.

Because the family’s enclosed swimming pool/hot tub has a glass roof and glass walls supported by beams, LaScala chose to install Niles weatherproof box speakers. Surveillance of the pool area provides a view from the kitchen or from any TV in the house. A terraced garden, which may be accessed through a conservatory, offers audio throughout its landscaping by way of Soundpipe Omni speakers from Waterworks Acoustics. In front of the home, a water feature connected to a creek running under the driveway also is controlled by the AMX system.

The lower level, designated as the “fun area” and partially above ground, features a six-seat theater, play room, game room, wine cellar, and cigar room. “The theater has a 100-inch Stewart Filmscreen, Runco projector, wireless 8.5 inch AMX touchscreen, and M&K speakers which we like because that’s what the pros use from Lucasfilm to Dolby Labs,” Tasci said.

Theater lighting is controlled,

with lights dimming over a 10-second period. The room also has an acoustics package from RSR Design of Vancouver, and a PlayStation 3 with wireless joysticks built right into the rack.

An adjacent cigar room was outfitted with Niles in-wall speakers, Tasci explained. “Music is accessed through a touchscreen, and there’s a big chair in there for listening. It’s a small room with a 26-inch Sharp LCD for watching sports.”

It’s the mechanical room that really tells the story, Tasci said, and is a testament to LaScala’s commitment to elegance of detail. “Our racks are prebuilt, tested, and programmed in our facility. About five years ago we were visited by the president of Middle Atlantic, Bob Schluter. After he saw how we dress our racks he indicated that he had never seen that quality of work. We find that our attention to detail is a reflection of our overall work ethic. What clients see on the back of our racks is representative of our company. I like the Da Vinci quote that ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’”

Projects for homes with young children have an additional focus, Tasci noted. “In this particular project we mounted all the keypads a little lower than usual so the children could reach them. We always try to interview all the adults in the home to get a sense of what would be of particular benefit.”