When selling home appliances with price tags in the tens of thousands of dollars, the shopping experience must be nothing short of perfect. That’s why, when renovating their ultra-chic Knightsbridge showroom in London, Sub-Zero & Wolf turned to leading technology integration firm Your Smart Home to design and install an integrated A/V infrastructure that would provide customers with a high-end shopping experience to match the upscale products at hand. To develop a sophisticated yet easy-to-use control system, Your Smart Home relied on an ELAN Entertainment & Control System paired with a Niles Auriel Multi-Room Audio System.
“While the Sub-Zero & Wolf team understood the benefits of a showroom outfitted with ‘smart’ technology, they were skeptical given their previous, poorly implemented automation system. Not only was it deemed too difficult to use, but it often powered down unexpectedly. Obviously, a finicky system could be a potential nightmare in the presence of prospective clients,” stated William Hopkins, Managing Director at Your Smart Home. “We believe that technology should complement, not distract. That’s why, when we partnered with Sub-Zero & Wolf, our first course of action was to install an ultra-reliable ELAN system. Given its naturally sleek design and intuitive interface, ELAN is the perfect match for the Sub-Zero & Wolf aesthetic.”
While the showroom’s ground floor includes a traditional product display showcase, the subterranean level is comprised of a functional demo home complete with a kitchen, living room, dining room, study, bar and lounge, outdoor garden, and a ‘Winston Churchill Cigar Room’ that continuously plays his speeches on loop.
“To best showcase our Sub-Zero & Wolf appliances, we emulated a whole home experience that literally shows customers how our products would fit into their every day lives,” explained Ricky Davies, Sub-Zero & Wolf Operations Manager. “Additionally, to embody a luxurious environment, each room in the demo home has a unique ‘theme’. We obviously need technology like lighting and A/V to help perpetuate these themes autonomously while our clientele tour the showroom.”
For the showroom control hub, Hopkins and his team built a system around one ELAN gSC10 controller and one ELAN g1 controller. Control of all A/V, HVAC, lighting, and security installed throughout the two-floor showroom is accessed through one of twoELAN gTP7 in-wall touchpanels, an ELAN gHR2handheld remote, or the ELAN g! Mobile app installed on each showroom consultant’s smartphone or tablet.
Hopkins and his team pre-configured each room’s settings using ELAN’s ‘theme’ functionality. At the start and end of each day, all rooms power on and off automatically on a pre-set schedule. This, says Davies, regularly saves the Sub-Zero & Wolf team substantial time. “The ELAN ‘theme’ function eliminates a tedious and time-consuming process of turning on the music in each room and adjusting the lighting each day,” he added.
The ELAN system also controls all of the demo home’s HD video content that streams continuously, via a Wyrestorm matrix, on 4K TVs and custom built and styled Hidden Mirror TVs. ELAN also controls 13 Axis 1080p CCTV security cameras throughout the showroom, indoors and outdoors, providing 24-hour surveillance. Additionally, a VIMAR KNX-based lighting system integrated with ELAN manually adjusts through light switches and dimmers to create customized lighting levels throughout the demo home.
“If the music or the lighting needs adjustments, this can easily be done by any staff member via the ELAN g! Mobile app,” Hopkins added. “The Sub-Zero & Wolf management team is also able to remotely access the ELAN system when they’re visiting different company locations across Europe.”
While the ELAN control system integrates all of the demo home’s technology—A/V security, lighting, and HVAC—the Niles Auriel Multi-Room Audio System provides an audio zone in each themed room via a new Sonos driver created by ELAN development partner Core Programming. Your Smart Home integrated two Niles MRC-6430 audio controllers, one Niles SI-1230 multi-channel power amplifier, and multiple in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.
According to both Hopkins and Davies, the benefits of this project extend beyond the immediately obvious. “Because Your Smart Home and Sub-Zero & Wolf share a target clientele – affluent homeowners in the process of renovations and remodeling – we’re able to introduce our customers to the Sub-Zero & Wolf team and vice versa,” emphasized Hopkins. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, which also adds an element of convenience and trust for our clients.”
To demonstrate its kitchen appliance series in action, Sub-Zero & Wolf hosts monthly cooking events that are often led by celebrity chefs such as Aldo Zilli, James Martin and more. “While the objective of these events is to demonstrate our appliances’ superb performance, we often get to do the same for the ELAN system,” said Davies. “When clientele watch a member of my staff adjust the kitchen’s lighting, HVAC, and A/V from their smartphone, it certainly grabs their attention and starts a conversation about smart home control.
”What’s more, the teams at Your Smart Home and Sub-Zero & Wolf are currently in the process of integrating the appliances into ELAN’s control capabilities through a driver developed by Core Programming.
“We understand that our customers turn to ELAN because it delivers the most comprehensive whole-home control experience,” stated Davies. “We’re in the process of broadening the notion ‘whole home’ to include a wide range of Sub-Zero & Wolf appliances. In the immediate future, from any ELAN interface, our customers will be able to monitor and control refrigerator and wine cooler temperatures; receive notifications if refrigerator doors are left ajar, or when ovens reach a certain temperature; and create a ‘Party Theme’ that increases the production of ice and reduces the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer.”
According to Davies, Sub-Zero & Wolf’s executive team is so thrilled with ELAN that they are installing a system in their European corporate headquarters. “Our London showroom often hosts many corporate meetings and, as a result, our executive team has become quite familiar with the ELAN system,” explained Davies. “I’m pleased to say, in the short time since the system has been installed, they’ve grown quite keen on ELAN!”
For hi-res photography of the Sub-Zero & Wolf showroom and demo home, click here.