94 Baker Street in Central London is infused with The Beatles’ history. In 1967, the band opened the “Apple Boutique” on the building’s first floor, which according to Paul McCartney, was a “beautiful place where beautiful people could buy beautiful things.” The boutique’s launch party drew a star-studded crowd with legends like George Harrison, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, just to name a few.
Fast forward almost 50 years, and, today, the building is still gaining global attention, but with a launch party of a different kind. This time, the host was The Malins Group, an award-winning aggregate of private property companies and trusts, that developed, designed and built five brand new luxury apartments in the building, now affectionately named the “Apple Apartments.”
Leading up to the launch, The Malins Group’s managing director Lauren Atkins was tasked to equip all five apartments with the most luxurious smart home technology on the market. She turned to technology integrator Bryan Vint of Ugot Simple Home Control, who installed an ELAN Entertainment & Home Control System to serve as the primary control platform in each of the brand new residences.
“We are honored to have been involved in a project that is so quintessential to London’s rock-and-roll history,” says Vint. “Over the span of a year, we were asked to design a system in each apartment that would enhance the property’s value with a necessary touch of luxury. To meet this objective, we incorporated a multi-room audio and video system, integrated lighting control, waterproof televisions and a whole-building access control system—all of which are automated and controlled by ELAN.”
To serve as the control hub for each apartment, Vint installed an ELAN System Controller, responsible for the control of the lighting and climate, as well as an ELAN S86A Integrated Multi-Room Audio and Video Controller, responsible for the control of all audio/video entertainment elements. All control systems are accessible via an ELAN in-wall touchpanel in each apartment.
“Smart home control is a win-win situation for the developer, the buyer and the resident,” says Vint. “ELAN adds a crucial element of luxury that makes a sale easier to facilitate. Additionally, on the end-user’s side, it greatly improves the lives of any future resident.”
Complementing each apartment’s stunning contemporary interior design infused with 1960s pop culture references, Vint also specified each apartment with a Rako lighting control system to enhance the ambiance. All lighting controls were integrated with the ELAN control system, offering easy accessibility through wall lighting panels as well as iOS or Android devices via the installed wireless access points.
“Being able to control lighting, audio and video enhances the lavishness of each apartment,” says Vint. “Smart functionality offers a level of luxury that any multi-million Pound apartment in London should have.”
On July 31, 2015, the developers hosted an extravagant launch party to appropriately introduce the apartments to market in a way that paid homage to the building’s glitzy past. Commemorating the infamous psychedelic-style 1960s mural over the Georgian building commissioned by George Harrison, The Malins Group put on a psychedelic light projection of their own on the façade of the building on the night of the launch. The event successfully highlighted the chic modern apartments as well as the building’s special commemorative details, such as the plaque celebrating John Lennon and George Harrison on the exterior of the building.
“The launch was a nostalgic event fused with a modern purpose,” Atkins says. “We hosted many notable guests with food, drinks and music. It was a great time.”
Leading up to the event, Vint was asked to outfit one apartment in particular to be used as a “show apartment” during the event. His job was to ensure that the smart components were made center-stage so as to provide potential buyers with insight into each apartment’s smart functionality.
“We were asked to increase the specification to include high-definition video and various additional audio and video sources,” Vint says.
According to Kay & Co, London-based agents who secured the deal, investors purchased all five apartments quickly after the launch, including four two-bedroom units, which were priced at £1.625,000 (US $2,327,446) and £1.750,000 (US $2,506,481) and a one-bedroom priced at £1.250,000 (US $1,790,562). The investors also purchased the retail space at ground level (formerly known as the Apple Boutique).
“We are so thrilled with the final result,” says Atkins. “At this point, a compelling smart home control system that encompasses audio, video and lighting control is one of the fundamental elements that define a ‘luxury’ residence. Smart technology makes a home stand out. As developers, we can no longer sell apartments without this smart functionality, and we’re very pleased with ELAN’s capabilities.”