Modernizing the vision set forth by legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has partnered with energy consultant Big Green Zero and custom electronics integrator HomeTech AV Solutions to install advanced energy efficiency technologies and the ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System at the iconic Taliesin West campus in the Arizona desert. With initial design and construction dating back to 1937, this current home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture continues to advance Wright’s legacy of architectural innovation.
The Energizing Taliesin West™ project aims to minimize energy costs and carbon pollution as it works toward creating a grid-neutral campus. The project will provide architectural students with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experiment with state-of-the-art conservation and sustainable energy production technologies. After determining that Taliesin West could benefit from substantial energy and financial savings through the installation of these technologies, Big Green Zero was contracted to manage and develop the project.
HomeTech AV Solutions, in partnership with ELAN Home Systems, has designed a unique control system for a unique piece of American history. The initial installation will take place in the original Wright home theater, dubbed “The Cabaret”. After lacking modern lighting, projection and audio systems for decades, The Cabaret has been revitalized with a Da-Lite acoustic fabric screen stretched across the original frame, a new Digital Projection E-Vision projector with a special long throw lens to accommodate the 65-foot throw distance, and fully integrated audio, video and Lutron Radio RA@2 lighting controlled by the ELAN g! system. There is no way to run new cabling in the stone and concrete building, so the video signal is transmitted wirelessly from the AV receiver to the projector mounted in the projection room. Frank Lloyd Wright designed The Cabaret’s unique uneven-hexagonal shape to have no right angles and to have 20 feet of open space below the front of the theater, which has led sound engineers to determine the space is 95 percent acoustically efficient! No sound is wasted, and there are no echoes anywhere in the room.
According to Jim Beaumont, president of HomeTech AV Solution, ELAN g! is the only control platform that’s simple enough to allow novices to use the system with zero training. “The space is available to rent for corporate events, so the system will see a lot of use by first-time users with no training or experience. This was a major consideration in our design and product choices, and the ELAN g! system is the easiest control system I’ve ever used.”
Joe Lautner, Core Brands Director of Control Segment, agrees that the project is a natural candidate for control with the ELAN g! system. “The g! system is the ideal choice for the Taliesin West project for several reasons, but most of all because it is simple for first-time users to operate and it is virtually unlimited in its expansion potential. The g! system will be operational very early on in the renovation, and as construction continues the g! system will be available to integrate additional core systems across the Taliesin West campus.”
The Cabaret will be used to treat approximately 110,000 annual guests to a short film about Wright’s life and work. The original projector will be preserved in the projection room for tours as well.
“We are very proud to be selected as a partner for this historic restoration and upgrade of all the technological aspects of Taliesin West,” Beaumont added. “We will certainly face some unique installation challenges due to the concrete and stone construction of the buildings and the 80-year-old wiring throughout the premises, and when we are finished Taliesin West will be a testament to the technological advances of the past century. By combining Frank Lloyd Wright’s legendary architecture with the latest in efficient lighting, AV, solar panels, energy management, security, surveillance and climate control systems, this project will no doubt result in the one of the world’s most historic energy-efficient communities.”
Taliesin West was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. In 2008, the U.S. National Park Service submitted Taliesin West along with nine other Frank Lloyd Wright properties to a tentative list for World Heritage Status. The 10 sites have been submitted as one total site.
About HomeTech AV Solutions:
HomeTech AV Solutions and HomeTech Europe LTD\LLC maintains offices in Lausanne, London, New York, Palm Springs, Paris and Seattle. HomeTech works with the celebrated architects and interior designers in the world to provide bespoke smart home solutions. HomeTech’s clients generally have multiple homes and appreciate having one source for their AV and Home Automation needs. For more information please contact HomeTech at firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.hometechavsolutions.com.
About Big Green Zero:
Big Green Zero, LLC is a team of sustainable energy engineers project planners and historic preservation enthusiasts. The team provides commercial and institutional property owners with commercial-grade energy audits and sustainable energy project planning and development services. For more information visit www.biggreenzero.com.
The Big Green Zero team was retained by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to conduct a comprehensive energy audit for Taliesin West. Based on the audit’s findings and recommendations, Big Green Zero was additionally retained to develop and manage the 75th Anniversary Energizing Taliesin West™ program.
About the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation:
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Taliesin West and the Taliesin Collections, to shaping the architecture and design at the highest level, and to the transformation of people’s lives through the artistry, principles and values of Frank Lloyd Wright’s body of work. To learn more visit www.franklloydwright.org.
About ELAN Home Systems:
Founded in 1990, ELAN® Home Systems is an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning whole-house entertainment and control systems that are distributed through a comprehensive channel of select dealers and distributors throughout the United States, Canada and more than 58 countries worldwide. To learn more visit www.elanhomesystems.com.
ELAN is part of the Core® Brands division of Nortek, Inc. Core Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech® brands.
ELAN is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc., a global, diversified company whose many market-leading brands deliver broad capabilities and a wide array of innovative, technology-driven products and solutions for lifestyle improvement at home and at work. Please visit www.nortekinc.com for more information.