Mediterranean Masterpiece Hides 106” Screen, Invisible Surround Sound
Cyprus penthouse mixes marble finishes with two viewing options, motorized shades and stealthy in-ceiling speakers.
Credit: Christos Panayides
May 13, 2013 by Arlen Schweiger

Showing off electronics delivers even more impact when it seems there’s really not much to see. That’s the beauty of this luxury penthouse—located on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus—whose architecture itself is such a thing of beauty that you wouldn’t possibly want to mess with it. For most of the day, the stunning interior simply speaks for itself, without much hint that the room offers entertainment beyond an elegantly wall-mounted flat-panel television. But when the homeowner fires up a movie for guests, at the press of a button the room puts on quite a show.

This is when, as deftly installed and programmed by local custom electronics pro Elytronic, the technology choreography commences: the lighting begins to dim; the motorized blinds slowly cover the windows; a 106-inch screen drops down in front of the TV; a projector descends from its ceiling hideout; and the invisible surround-sound speakers and subwoofers make their presence known.

“The owner is a developer for real estate apartments and houses, so he knew about automation and he wanted to do something special to show customers that was a bit over the top. Plus he likes the stuff as well, so he understands how it’s able to make his life easier,” says Elytronic’s Harris Epameinondas. “The most challenging part was to create an amazing space without the electronics being shown, so nobody knows there’s a projector, a screen, the speakers, until they suddenly appear. The coordination of the gear took the ceiling guys, the heating guys, the interior designer … because everybody’s part of it, and bringing everyone on the same page.”

Elytronic worked throughout the roughly 2,000-square-foot penthouse while it was being renovated, so the company could carefully provide detailed plans and exact dimensions for all of that coordination. For example, the five Stealth Acoustics AX3 speakers and pair of Stealth B1630 passive subwoofers are truly invisible in the ceiling, but they required particular metal structures to ensure the ceiling wouldn’t shake during a movie (especially the area around the subs). Their installation also necessitated special instructions for the ceiling painter so the speakers would receive the proper finishing that wouldn’t muffle the sound.

System Design & Installation
Elytronic, Nicosia, Cyprus
Interior Design
J. Joseph Interiors, Nicosia, Cyprus
K.N. Tofarides Associates, Nicosia, Cyprus
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And since you can’t see the speakers, we’ll just tell you that the front three channels reside in front of the screen housing, while the rear surrounds flank the Chief projector lift and the two subwoofer panels sit between the family room and adjacent open dining room area.

(View images of this media room here)

“In the living room, what people want these days [for A/V], it’s a compromise between aesthetics and performance,” says Epameinondas. “The invisible 5.1 Stealth Acoustics system is kind of a compromise, but on the other hand it looks amazing and sounds very good. It’s magical.”

Speaking of the ceiling, one of the more creative feats in designing and installing the Screenview dropdown screen was the housing itself. As further illustration of Elytronic’s teamwork with the other trades involved, rather than install a simple, rectangular box to hold the screen when it’s not in use, the room’s partial faux ceiling gently curves over the housing to create a seamless façade that carries forth the rest of the modern look.

On the electronics side, the coordination is governed by a Control4 system that triggers the automated events in the big reveal, which along with the A/V and lights/shades can also include bringing the room temperature to a certain level. Lutron lighting and motorized shades can be set accordingly at the press of a button, whether the viewing calls for the 60-inch plasma screen or the 106-incher. Either way, the views are always impressive in this penthouse.

Marble Mayhem
As this room was being built, so was a marble wall especially for the TV. Suffice it to say, marble is not the easiest material to deal with for a wall-mounted TV installation, so the custom pros at Elytronic had to provide exacting dimensions in order to recess the 60-inch Pioneer plasma and create a flush appearance.

“We asked to cut it for the TV, and also to have it painted black behind the TV so the screen would blend in,” says Elytronic’s Harris Epameinondas. “The owner was sure he wanted that wall, so that’s also why we put the speakers in the ceiling. Our best design was to recess the TV as much as we could so the screen was the only thing showing.”

On the other side of the TV wall is the A/V equipment rack closet, which features an active cooling system and industrial-grade fan to keep the hot air flowing outside. A thermostat in the closet lets the fan operate only when necessary.

See Also:
Projector Tips for Multipurpose Rooms
8 Ways to Hide Your Speakers
Top 5 Reasons to Get Motorized Window Shades

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

Systems and Equipment

Control: Control4
Lighting/Shading: Lutron
Projector: Planar
Screen: Screenview
TV: Pioneer
Speakers & Subwoofer: Stealth Acoustics
A/V Sources: Apple TV, Netgear, Pioneer
Lift & Mount: Chief
Rack: Raxxess

Full Equipment List

1 Pioneer 60” Plasma TV
1 Chief PSTU Extra Large Flat Panel (42”-63”) Fusion Fixed Wall Mount.
1 Denon AVR-2309 7.1ch A/V-Receiver with HDMI Functions
1 Stealth Acoustics 225R integrated monaural subwoofer amplifier / crossover system.
3 Stealth Acoustics AX3 Totally Invisible Full Range Speakers
2 Stealth Acoustics AX3 Totally Invisible Full Range Speakers
1 Stealth Acoustics B1630 Totally Invisible Subwoofer (2 Panels)
Projector and Motorised Screen
1 Planar 8150 Home Theater Projector
1 Screenview Elegant Electric 16:9 Tap-Tensioned, Matt White screen, Black Masking, 106” diagonal
1 Chief Projector Cinematic Smart Lift. 230V Electric Lift for Projectors (needs SLB-U Bracket)
1 Audioquest Speaker and other cables
1 Control 4 HC500 Controller.Includes a SR250 Remote Control.
1 Control 4 3U Rack Ear Kit for HC-500.
3 Control 4 HC200 Controller no remote.
1 Control 4 1U Rack Ear Kit for dual HC-200.
1 Control 4 ZigBee Wireless Access Point/Contact Switch
1 Cisco RV042 Router with VPN
12 IR Emitters Package
5 RS232 Adapters
1 Cisco 16-Port 10/100Mpbs Smart Switch
1 Netgear WPN802 Wireless Access Point
1 Luxul AP Booster
1 Coolmaster Daikin VRV System Integration
1 Control4 Thermostat
1 Apple Ipad with Control4 Interface
1 Control4 SR-250 Remote
1 AMX PrecisLT 8x8 Component and Analog Audio Matrix switcher
2 Muxlab Component and Analog Audio Balun
1 Muxlab Audio Balun
1 Pioneer DVD Player
1 Apple TV
1 Dream Multimedia Dreambox Satellite Receiver
1 Sky HD Satellite Receiver
1 Netgear EVO Media Player
1 Pioneer DVR560 DVD/DVR Recorder
1 Control 4 16 Channel Amplifier.16 channels of 100 watt. 
1 Control 4 4U Rack Ear Kit.
1 Control 4 Multi Tuner with 2 Outputs
1 YAMAHA 5-Disc CD player
1 Buffalo Terastation 1TB NAS
150 Audioquest Flex Speaker Cable per m
Central Equipment Devices
1 Raxxess SKR-42 19” Rack (2m Height)
1 Tripplite 500VA UPS
1 DL EPC-II IP Rebooting Device
1 Furman Surge Protector
1 Rack Termination
1 Audioquest SD Interconnect Cables
100 Audioquest AUD-ITC-24N/RCA Instant Tool-less Connectors. Can be used with 24 AWG ITC based coax cables
2 Power Cables and Plugs
Somfy Controller, (Code: 1860049), low voltage interface for 4 motorised shutters/curtains/blinds. 
1 LIBERTY-LUTRON-YEL, Control cable for keypads & processors
Panel 1
1 Lutron Homeworks 4 Processor - series Processor only unit
1 Lutron Homeworks, Wire landing board
1 Lutron Homeworks, 8 dry Contact Outputs board (Lights)
2 Lutron Grafik-Eye, 4-zone dimming module, 2300W total, 800W per output, All load types
Panel 2
4 Lutron Homeworks, 6-zone Dimming module, 2300W total, 800W per output
Panel 3
1 Lutron Homeworks, 8 dry Contact Outputs board (Mechanical, Pool Lights, Fans, etc)
2 Lutron Homeworks, 8 dry Contact Outputs board (Blinds)
12 Lutron Homeworks, 1-10 button Seetouch International keypad, European style, 1-gang backbox, White

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