When McIntosh Group decided to move to the heart of SoHo…

…they wanted to immerse visitors into a sensory experience unlike any other. While they had all of the audiophile equipment to showcase throughout, they needed the ability to control it all along with the other media components, lighting and shading. Transforming the space from a single interface was crucial, and we were hired to make it happen.

The WOM Townhouse had the unique need to serve as a functioning home, an event space, and a commercial meeting space. They needed the residential feel of the townhouse to carry up through all 5 floors, communicating what it would feel like for this technology to exist in the visitor’s own home. Because the space would also be rented out for events, control over the media and environmental elements like lighting and shading needed to be smooth, easy, and reliable. Finally, the conference room called for business applications like crystal clear audio conferencing and the ability to easily throw video content onto a shared display. It was important to WOM to bring in a local integrator who supported not only the WOM brands, but the complimentary best-in-class brands such as Lutron & Savant. Should a customer be interested in one or more brand or solution, WOM wanted that integrator to be able to replicate the experience for them with a white glove level of service and support.

We provided automation and centralized control for the amps and speakers throughout all five floors of the Townhouse, as well as for the projector and media consoles in the theater room. We integrated the lighting and shading into this control, working with the electrician to install the lighting products. Because the Townhouse functions as a home, an event space and a meeting space, we utilized Savant as the automation platform for its flexibility. Savant offers Apps for both commercial (used in the conference room) and residential (used everywhere else). While conferencing (with ceiling-mounted microphones) is handled through a commercial-intuitive interface, the theater room can be demonstrated with the press of a single button that fires up the DPI projector and drops the 16′ Stewart filmscreen, lowers the Lutron roller shades, draws the motorized curtains, dims the lights, and readies all McIntosh audio and video components. We also provided a PRIMA Cinema to allow showings of first-run theatrical releases in the space. Additional vendors included Audioquest for the AV cables, and Sony for the flat panel displays.

Cabling the space was a main challenge due to the fact that this was a retrofit. The space had already been cabled but for technology that was prominent nearly 15 years ago, and it was all unlabeled. Toning, tracing and determining what cables were there and usable was a challenge. Cat6a, which is particularly challenging to run, had to be run through the basements and back up to the 3rd floor. The WOM Townhouse also included the biggest motorized shades we’d every installed, with rollers and drapery. There were a lot of moving pieces on this project, and some WOM employees were also using the Townhouse as their office space during construction, so time coordination amongst all parties was of the utmost importance. Fortunately all construction trades were very collaborative. The electrician helped us install the drapery, shades, projector screen and speaker boxes. The carpentry crew provided us with the wood backing to mount the TVs.

We’re gotten terrific feedback on our automation solution for the WOM Townhouse. Since its unveiling we’ve had the privilege of attending several of WOM’s events, and watched the technology from Lutron, Savant and McIntosh Group serve as a powerful yet easy means of controlling the space.