Click here for a slideshow of the penthouse
For a serious college sports fan, owning a 12th floor penthouse overlooking your alma mater is a dream come true. One University of Arkansas alumnus who regularly hosts university and team staff for parties has taken this idea even further by creating a Razorbacks-themed party pad where everything from the colored LED lights and window shades to the video wall and multi-room audio can be controlled right from his iPhone with the ELAN control system.
Looking around this penthouse, which used to be two separate condos, it’s clear that just about everything is custom designed. Walking through it can leave you in awe at the hallway’s tongue-and-groove hickory ceiling with backlit red glass sections, the glass floor that looks down into the wine cellar, the master suite with an open bathing area, the bathroom with chandelier lights, and of course the five-TV video wall in the living room. Add all of that to the home’s fully automated colored LED lighting, window shades, thermostats, audio in every room, and even a connected electronic door lock, and it really does seem like a home from the future.
According to Chad Moore of DeBoards, the Arkansas electronics installation company responsible for this home’s incredible systems, the future is now.
“The owner of this penthouse had a grand vision to be able to host parties in a space like no other without thinking about the logistics or fretting over how everything works," said Moore. "With our creative designs and the ELAN system, we were able to give him everything he wanted, including a home completely free of wall switches. There is not a single light switch on the wall because all the lights, including the many, many colored LED lights are controlled through the ELAN system.”
The color red permeates through the home, paying homage to the Razorbacks and creating a distinct mood that’s perfect for parties and game day celebrations. There are LED strip lights almost anywhere they could be hidden, including under the stairs, behind decorative support beams and above and below cabinets. They can be set to any color through the ELAN g! system, allowing the owner to pump up the red for games or subdue the room in blue for a relaxing night.
“Guests at this home would be hard pressed to say they’ve seen anything else like it,” Moore added. “There’s a glass floor that looks down into the large climate-controlled wine cellar in the lower level and a wall of Razorbacks footballs autographed by the guests of each party the owner throws. There are LED lights in the ceiling, the floor and even the walls! It’s a great feeling as an integrator when the client is excited about creating a cool space and has ideas they want to flesh out.”
To add to the ambience, Moore was asked to make sure that every electronics component is hidden. There are no wires, no visible speakers, and no cable boxes. All speakers and even subwoofers are in the ceiling and almost completely hidden from view, while the receivers, amplifiers, and everything else are located in two equipment racks far from the living areas and completely out of sight. Using IR relays and IP communication, the ELAN g! system makes sure that every part of the house works smoothly and easily.
With 10 audio zones, four climate zones, an outdoor audio system on the balconies, and a DirecTV box for every TV, the possibilities are endless. While the owner loves using his iPhone and iPad to control the system, DeBoards also installed an ELAN touch panel in the great room (where the video wall is located) and by the front door for reliable, always-on functionality. This is perfect for when the owner leaves his phone in another room and wants to close the blinds or turn on the lights.
In addition to the ELAN equipment, this project uses Sony and Sharp TVs, Lutron lighting, Aprilaire thermostats, Integra receivers and amplifiers, and Luxul wireless solutions to ensure every spot in the residence has full WiFi and connectivity to the g! system.