Award wining install company Henri created this impressive home cinema in the heart of Paris.
Jonathan Plaideau, the project manager in charge of the project, explains, “This private theatre was part of a bigger project were doing for this client. In his typical Haussmanian style Parisian apartment, the client wanted to renovate everything restarting from scratch.”
For those not up on their Parisian architectural history, the Haussmanian style comes form a large public works program commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III and directed by his prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugène Haussmann. The project ran between 1853 and 1870 and included the demolition of medieval neighbourhoods and rebuilding in a more modern style, with wider streets, parks, fountains and aqueducts. Despite being dismissed by Napoleon III in 1870, the work on his projects continued until 1927 and the street plan and distinctive appearance of the centre of Paris today is largely the result of Haussmann’s work.
Jonathan continues, “As a company specialised in home automation, he asked us to take care of the whole control system of his apartment, ie. lighting, blinds and temperature, then to do the IT network and most of all, to give him the cinema room he has always dreamed of.
“From the beginning, and as a real cinema fan, his objective was clear. He wanted to get the cinema room he has pictured in his head, which meant a bold, but minimalist decor and mostly great audio and video performances.”
The Haussmanian style of property presented some real challenges with the soundproofing of the apartment being particularly poor and the size of the room for the cinema not ideal.
Jonathan continues, “Regarding this context, we had to make some adjustments but, in the end, the client was, and still is, over the moon with his cinema room. Recreating an authentic movie experience at home requires flawless design and accurate acoustics along with exciting audio and video performance. Each room is unique and has its properties. Therefore, for the acoustical treatment of the room, we have worked closely with a specialised Italian company called HTE Design.”
In terms of audio equipment, the room includes a surround sound receiver from Rotel (RSX-1562), three CT 7.5 front speakers, two CWM 7.5 lateral speakers and two CWM 7.5 back ones from Bowers&Wilkins, plus an active subwoofer ASW610XP from the same brand.
The three front speakers and the subwoofer are located behind the acoustically-transparent micro-perforated screen, 16/9 format with a 3.30 meters base. The 4K video projector, a VPL-VW300ES from Sony, is fixed to the ceiling of the room.
Getting the control interface was very important.
Jonathan explains, “Our client wanted to control his cinema from his own iPad. Therefore, we created a bespoke Crestron app on which he can control all the lights, including the starry sky, the temperature and the cinema itself with access to the Blu-ray player, the Apple TV and the TV decoder. One of the particularities of the room is that the client required to be able to manually change the colour of the starry sky. “So, we proposed a DMX management and put a mixer on our custom iPad application so that the client or any user can play by blending the colours of the starry ceiling.”
The other clever aspect of this room is that the system starts regulating its temperature only when the video projector is started for improved energy optimisation. The cinema room shares its HVAC system with the living room thanks to a communication bridge connected to the Crestron control system.
Jonathan recounts some further technical challenges the theatre presented, “Regarding the whole retrofit of his apartment, the cinema room represented the cherry on the cake for our client. He had a lot of expectations about it because he is fond of movies and he also wanted to organize movie nights with his family and friends.
“However, making a movie theatre in a Haussmanian apartment was a real technical challenge. The room was small, with an access to the back stairway, in an old building with bad soundproofing, and no space to install the AV rack.
“Despite those technical constraints, we managed to deliver a great cinema room in a great apartment. The client and his family are thrilled by their brand-new cinema room and they have already used it quite a lot. The video projector counts more than 1000 hours of use in less than 18 months!
Amplifier: Rotel RSX-1562
Front speakers: Bowers & Wilkins CT 7.5
Surround and back speakers: Bowers & Wilkins CWM 7.5
Active subwoofer: Bowers & Wilkins ASW 610XP
Blu-ray player: Oppo BDP-105D-MRZ
Apple TV 4K
Video projector 4K: Sony VPL-VW300ES
Screen: Oray MICROPERF 4K
Armchairs: Oray BIO (motorized and leather finish)
Control processor: Crestron CP3
Network: Pakedge router, switches, wireless access points and controller
Cinema rack: Middle Atlantic SLIM5-29