August 08, 2012
by Lisa Montgomery
From the outside, the signature dome at the upscale Montage Beverly Hills hotel in—you guessed it—Beverly Hills appears as a beautifully gilded architectural detail. Inside, it’s a completely different story. Using a unique system of projectors, lights and control, the 35-foot-wide ceiling dome displays a variety of images, from abstract color patterns to swirling images of clouds to blazing sunsets.
The owner, who purchased the renovated 4,500-square-foot bachelor pad on the upper floor of the 201-room hotel, “challenged us to come up with some way to really set [the dome] off,” says Josh Christian of custom electronics design and installation firm DSI Entertainment Systems in Los Angeles. “He wanted a real ‘wow’ factor for his house.” Knowing that no ordinary projection system would be able to project images onto a concave surface without a lot of distortion, DSI worked with a firm that specializes in “edge blending” multiple projected images to appear as one.
Four business-grade video projectors were needed to cover the dome’s curved surface—and each is mounted in a recessed pocket at the base of the dome and connected to its own networked computer.
DSI connected the projection system to a Crestron control system to give the owner a simple way to choose the images to display. From either a 5.7-inch wireless touchpanel or a 5.7-inch in-wall panel, he can scroll to the “dome” page where available sources are listed: Blu-ray, Apple TV, or most likely one of the computers, where dozens of artistic still images are stored. From here, he chooses the source and a particular image like sunset, trees or clouds.
An onyx fireplace mantel was designed to complement the choice, having been fitted on the backside with colored LED lights. Again, DSI programmed several presets into the Crestron system so all the owner has to do it touch a RED, GREEN, BLUE, FLASH, STROBE or FADE button to turn the mantel into a visual piece of art. There’s a 65-inch Samsung TV over the mantel for more conventional forms of entertainment, but Christian admits that’s usually the last thing the owner turns on when his friends come over. “Imagine having cocktails while the ceiling and fireplace mantel shift colors and images,” he says. “Creating a unique visual ambiance was what this room and project was all about.”
The video dome and backlit fireplace might be the technological showpieces of this renovated residence, but the Crestron system controls far more than these two components. Control over motorized window shades, surveillance cameras, thermostats, a whole-house audio distribution system and a Vantage lighting control system are unified under the Crestron Pro2 controller. It receives commands via wireless and hardwired communications from keypads, touchpanels, iPads and other devices. Plus, it’s IP-based (for Internet Protocol), which means a user can access and interact with the system remotely from a mobile device.
Systems & Equipment
Lighting Control: Vantage
Audio/Video Distribution: Crestron
Shade control: Lutron Sivoia
Systems Design & Installation: DSI Entertainment Systems, Los Angeles, Calif., http://www.dsientertainment.com
Interior Design: Philip Nimmo Interior Design, Los Angeles, Calif., philipnimmodesign.com
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.