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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Ultimate Home Theater in Belo Horizonte, Brazil by WSDG-Walters Storyk Design Group

March 23rd, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: WSDG-Walters Storyk Design Group

A ‘showplace’ in every sense of the word, this home theater recently completed in the luxurious new 50,000 sq. ft. residence of a young Brazilian power couple reflects not only exquisite taste in furnishings and style, but an impeccable assemblage of state of the art technology guaranteed to provide the owners and their guests with the ultimate audio and video performance experience.

House & Pool, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

House exterior profile, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

Though not particularly conversant with technology or acoustics, the client was committed to creating the finest home theater imaginable.  And, he was singularly astute in his selection of a design team for his ‘dream theater.’  Extensive research and trusted personal recommendations led him to WSDG, Walters-Storyk Design Group, a global architectural and acoustic design firm. In addition to recognition for their home theater expertise, WSDG’s 45+ year history is distinguished by recording studios created for artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix (1970) to Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys and most recently Adele’s UK-based producer Paul Epworth.  Credits also include performance venues as Switzerland’s KKL Luzern Concert Hall, Jazz At Lincoln Center, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, and such iconic NYC clubs as Le Poisson Rouge and 54 Below.

Theater from rear doors open, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

Variable Acoustic Panel, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

The expansive (950 sq. ft.) home theater features a 16’ high ceiling and 15’ high, wood- framed, acoustically treated, telescoping wooden doors.  Recessed within the walls when open, in closed position, these impressive portals provide Acoustic Isolation to and from other areas of the home. The room-facing facades of these doors are treated with QRD diffusors to further enhance the listening experience.  Because aesthetics were of paramount concern to the owner, all these treatments are ‘invisible’ to guests. 

Theater from couch, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

Rear doors closed, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

To insure a definitive stereo performance AND an unrivaled feature film/video surround sound experience, the client stipulated that two distinct audio systems be installed.  The primary stereo configuration is comprised of free standing Hansen ‘The King’ E speakers, Classé amplifiers, a Meridian 808 CD player and a Clearaudio Innovation vinyl player.  For a superlative feature film and video surround sound experience, a secondary state-of-the-art system consisting of 7.4 B&W CT Series speakers for multichannel audio reproduction was soffit mounted to the acoustical treatments behind the 160” cinemascope perforated screen.

Equipment Racks, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

Theater from rear wide, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

This hybrid configuration inspired WSDG to create a unique Variable Acoustics solution to achieve optimal performance quality for both systems. The custom built 8’ high x 20’wide unit consists of sixty individual, rotating, triangulated 12” wide acoustic panels which provide multiple ‘room-tuning’ options e.g. reflective for higher reverberation time, diffusive for a denser sound field and  absorptive for reduced reverberation, ideal for cinema sound.    Ceiling lights were recessed into custom designed, low and high frequency absorption units.  The walls framing the giant flat screen mask racks that deploy a prodigious battery of easily accessible digital audio and video technology.*

Speakers, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

Variable Acoustic Panels, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

WSDG’s Belo Horizonte-based, Partner/Director of Design, Renato Cipriano (a Grammy-winning recording engineer), reports the project established a new WSDG standard for overall excellence.  “Previous clients and systems integration firm Versão Brasileira recommended us very highly, and we made every effort to meet the owners commitment to absolute excellence.  The home itself took almost three years to design and construct, and bringing us on board at the earliest stage of development, was another astute decision by the owner. Our proprietary Room Simulation/Acoustic Modeling programs (developed in collaboration with our Basel, Switzerland-based partner, Dirk Noy) enabled us to correct acoustic problems before construction, and avoided potential ‘reconstruction’ costs. In addition to designing a fantastic home theater, we also created a new criterion for future acoustic excellence.

Ceiling projector, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

“This project engaged WSDG experts on acoustic modeling, from around the globe, and conceptual design contributions from our Founding Partner, John Storyk.  As technology is constantly changing, our extensive experience enabled us to ‘future proof’ the system as much as possible,” Cipriano concludes.  “We are confident that the owner will enjoy many years of outstanding performance without the need for any substantial upgrades.”

Hidden screen, Image Courtesy © Jomar Bragança (Versão Brasileira)

About WSDG-Walters Storyk Design Group 

WSDG, a media facility design and consulting firm has collaborated on over 3500 audio /video facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios (1969); NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and, Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU, The Art Institutes and Berklee College of Music, Valencia and Boston (2015 TEC winner); and media rooms for such corporate clients as Hoffman La Roche, Cemex, and Sony. Studio projects include NYC’s Jungle City Studios for award winning engineer, Ann Mincieli, Green Day (CA), Jay-Z (NY), film composers Carter Burwell (NY), A.R. Rahman (India), Aerosmith (Boston), Bruce Springsteen (NJ), Alicia Keys (NY), and Paul Epworth’s The Church Studios (London).WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, Sergio Molho, Silvia Molho, Renato Cipriano, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications.  WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Phillipe Stark.  WSDG is a ten-time winner of the NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design.  The firm maintains offices in New York, Miami, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and Basel (Switzerland) with representatives in Barcelona (Spain), Moscow, Guangzhou (China), Florence (Italy), Mexico City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Categories: House, Residential, Theater

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