Keeping it simple
Embracing technology at any age can be daunting, but these clients in their golden years have moved with the times and enjoy a very extensive but incredibly simple-to-use smart home. These homeowners in Victoria were not big technology users, so in their new home, priorities one, two and three were simplicity, simplicity and simplicity. This said, they have built a very spacious house and have many complex systems to control.
So like the modern car, the simpler one wants it to be for the user, the more complexity that is required behind the scenes.
"Our inspiration was to provide the many layers of functionality required by the clients and a residence of this substance, in a way that was simple and unintimidating."
We had to do this in a very robust way so that the system was very stable and reliable, and also easy to maintain or change when that’s required.
This striking modern residence, built on a raw, steep block, comprises a very spacious living/dining/kitchen area, a particularly well-equipped alfresco area, and a downstairs open theatre and rumpus room complemented by a wine cellar/bar.
The rear of the bar is complete with a full-height below-water viewing window into the pool! Both upstairs and downstairs open out onto spacious balcony/entertaining areas, with the lower area flowing down into the gardens, water features and putting green. Five bedrooms, five bathrooms/ ensuites and another small lounge area are positioned upstairs.
A lift provides easy access between all three levels, opening on the third level to a translucent glass landing overlooking the entry foyer.
The driveway loops back on itself under a large pedestrian bridge at street level providing access to the two double garages at the lower level. Various utility and storage rooms, a huge tank and plant room, and the suspended pool complete the residence.
In spite of the simplicity required by the clients, they needed lots of complex equipment.
Full intelligent lighting control throughout provides welcome home lighting, preventative security lighting scenes, motion sensors and whole-house control of both lighting and blinds for energy management, as well as smart switches which indicate what they’re controlling – ideal for a large house such as this.
Comprehensive security and access control allows tradespeople such as gardeners, cleaners, pool people and others to each have access to their specific areas of the property, while the owners can very simply and easily zone and protect various areas of the house.
Two surround-sound home theatre areas allow separate entertainment for the owners and their guests and grandchildren, while the six audio zones provide whole-house entertainment.
A phone and intercom system provides convenient communication with the gate and driveway stations and throughout the house from any phone handset, wired or cordless.
The main living area is very light and bright so the touchscreen controls full sheer and blockout motorised blinds, as well as the fireplace, ventilation louvres, airconditioning, lighting and surround-sound entertainment. One touch can set the evening movie scene with lowered blinds, mood lighting, fireplace, hidden TV raised and equipment all powered up appropriately.
Control of various other types of systems was also essential, including garden lighting, irrigation, HVAC, venting of the main living area, temperature monitoring of the walk-in fridge and the motorised glass walls surrounding the pool. Even the 100,000-litre underground tanks are monitored, something the owners were very grateful for when it allowed them to spot a 2000-litre per day leak soon after they moved in, just from the tank levels displayed on their kitchen touchscreen.
Of course, all this required the Crestron control system as the overarching user interface, which is simultaneously the simplest part of
the whole system for the clients and the most complex part of it for us.
Its superbly equipped alfresco area flows straight out from the kitchen/dining area through the hideaway doors onto a balcony with magnificent views of the gardens below and hills in the distance.
On the side is the suspended pool with its motorised hideaway glass surrounds and a restaurant-quality roasting barbecue.
Built in are four heaters, twin fans, motorised louvres, automated blinds and an air curtain for the ultimate in outdoor rooms and comfortable living.
“Its all about making the complex seem simple”
This project is special for the number, complexity and variety of controlled systems, and the ease and pleasure with which the self-professed non-technical clients can use it.