When your penthouse apartment boasts an uninterrupted river view from St. Paul’s Cathedral on one side to Big Ben on the other side, maintaining that magnificent vista is of upmost importance. But when people living in neighboring apartment buildings can see inside to, these same scene-stealing windows can be a huge compromise of your privacy.
The owners of this renovated 7,000-square-foot residence were able to preserve both panorama and privacy by having the home systems integrators from London-based TwentyTwo Integration install custom-designed automated draperies from Lutron over the large 32-foot wide-bank of glazed glass door panels in their living room.
Glass and Shades Under Control
This would be no ordinary installation of a motorized drapery system, however. For starters, the wall of glass is curved, which meant TwentyTwo Integration would be unable to employ a standard straight drapery track. Add this to the fact that the homeowners also wanted the curved panels to be motorized to open and close automatically, and the TwentyTwo Integration team would need to work outside the box to design a system that would function flawlessly and give the homeowners a simple method of controlling the positions of both the drapes and the windows. It would be an accomplishment that would earn TwentyTwo Integration honors as the 2017 Lutron Excellence award winner for “Best Use of Motorized Shading.”
“This project would prove to be a challenge from both from a technical aspect and a logistical aspect,” says TwentyTwo Integration director Andy Jack. “We needed to engineer a way for the windows and the drapes to slide and stack smoothly to one side of the wall, plus deal with the logistics of moving large pieces of equipment into a penthouse in the city.”
HomeWorks QS Creates an Outdoor Entertainment Oasis
The HomeWorks QS system rose to the challenge, giving TwentyTwo Integration the powerful backbone to orchestrate a perfectly synchronized movement of the draperies and glass. From the Lutron Connect app on their tablets, smartphones, or any of the 30-or-so wall-mounted seeTouch keypads positioned strategically throughout the home the owners can transition the space from a cozy, intimate atmosphere to an open environment where the outdoor terrace and the living room unite as one.
Because the glass doors are curved, the drapery track would need to follow the sweeping arch. Unlike most other jobs, TwentyTwo Integration utilized two individual curved pieces of track rather than one long piece. This would enable each individual drape to slide over the next drape in sequence, ultimately resting in a neat 10-inch wide stack of fabric on the far right side of the window. The alternative—one long drape on one long track—would have required a heavy-duty motor to handle the weight of the drape, and would have resulted in a bulky and view obstructing stack of draperies on both ends of the track, Jack explains.
James Bond-Like Effects Orchestrated by HomeWorks QS
As the drapes slide and stack so do the individual motorized panes of glass. In seconds the living room completely opens up to the terrace. “It’s a James Bond-like effect that’s engaged from a command called “Scene,” Jack says. The integration of the drapes and windows definitely show off the full potential of the Lutron HomeWorks QS system and has become a conversation piece of the home, but the homeowners appreciate it most for the convenience and comfort it provides. “To move those drapes across a window that large manually would have been quite a task, not to mention having to open each door individually.”
TwentyTwo Integration integrated other convenience features, including motorized blinds in the master bedroom and “snug room,”full HomeWorks QS control of nearly 100 lighting circuits, and a whole-house music system. The lights and music contribute to the ambiance of an open entertainment space where some of the best sights in London can be enjoyed and the easiest of technologies can be mastered.