Woody Allen’s 1973 sci-fi comedy, “Sleeper,” introduced the world to futuristic home technologies like The Orgasmatron, The Orb, and robots that could easily be impersonated by a short guy in a cheap suit and a plastic helmet. The set piece for this home of the future was “The Sculptured House,” an already-famous Colorado home designed and built by architect Charles Deaton.
Now, almost 40 years later, the home’s newest owner has transformed this piece of American pop culture history into a real-life house of the future with a completely integrated ELAN g! Home Entertainment and Control System.
When Larry Winkler bought the house in 2010, he wanted to it to be a true model for the future. That meant making it more eco-friendly, updating the interior and installing a home entertainment and control system that would allow him to control the entire home from his iPhone. And while there’s no robot butler or Orgasmatron (the tube is actually an elevator), there is a Star Trek-style command center, a set-it-yourself bowling lane and the ELAN g! System that controls the lights, heat, air conditioning, whole home audio and video, window shades, security and surveillance systems.
“When I first purchased the house I had Excel Energy come out to do a heat and air flow analysis, and it turned out that the home lost 62 percent of its energy every hour,” Winkler said. “That’s more than double what the average house loses, so I replaced doors and installed electrically-heated windows, added insulation and installed new highly efficient heating and cooling units to make the house much more eco-friendly. But the glue that holds everything together and really allows me to maximize my energy efficiency is the ELAN g! System. I’ve set up lighting, heating and cooling schedules so there is no energy wasted, and when I leave I can shut down basically the whole house with the touch of a button on my iPhone.”
Ron Winne and Jeff Kirkham from Vision Systems, Inc. integrated eight TVs (one in a 5.1 home theater), six audio zones, 13 climate zones, an HAI security system, a slew of stationary and PTZ IC Realtime surveillance cameras both inside and outside the home, plus more than 100 Lutron Homeworks QS lighting loads into the ELAN g! System, giving Winkler instant control of every major system in the home.
Before he even chose a control system, Winkler had a vision for his home electronics that involved a uniquely designed, decorated, and LED-lit addition underneath the home.
“I had Ron and Jeff from Vision Systems help me design and build a real-life command center that borrows from the aesthetics of the Starship Enterprise,” Winkler said, “Besides the fun sci-fi aspect, the room’s four HD TVs let me have a 360-degree view of every system in my home. ELAN g! is the central nervous system that runs the house and this command center was a fun way to show it off.”
Beyond the pop culture history of the home and the sci-fi aspects of the design, Winkler is excited to finally have a home entertainment and control system that is truly easy to use. And with seven ELAN TS2 in-wall touch panels, an ELAN HR2 remote for the home theater and iPhone and iPad apps, he can control the system from anywhere, at any time.
“A lot of companies use the term user-friendly, but ELAN g! is one of the only products I’ve found that really follows through on that promise. The most amazing thing is that my 5-year-old granddaughter can walk in and use the system without even asking me any questions. This is how friendly home automation should be.”
In addition to the home’s central systems, the custom installation pros at Vision Systems also programmed Winkler’s g! System to monitor the boiler temperature and efficiency, and automate the snow melters on the roof (a must have in Denver).
‘The Sculptured House’ was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2004 and has been featured on MTV’s “Extreme Cribs” and HGTV’s “Home Strange Home.”